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SBD/January 16, 2014/Franchises
Kershaw's $215M Deal With Dodgers Marks MLB's All-Time High Average Annual Salary
Published January 16, 2014
L.A. TIMES, 1/16). ESPN L.A.'s Ramona Shelburne wrote the Dodgers have "long intended to keep Kershaw as the face of their franchise for the rest of his career" (ESPNLA.com, 1/15). In L.A., Jill Painter writes it was "the right move for the Dodgers, no matter the financial cost." Kershaw is the "most dominant pitcher in the game, a leader in the clubhouse and an inspirational humanitarian off the field" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 1/16). MLB.com's Ken Gurnick wrote, "From the Roberto Clemente Award for community service to the billboards alongside freeways that underscore his role as the youthful face of the franchise, Kershaw has evolved into an icon" (MLB.com, 1/15).
NOT AFRAID TO PAY: FOXSPORTS.com's Ken Rosenthal noted the Dodgers' tax penalty in '13 was $11.4M on a $243M payroll, and "at least figures to be in the same range in '14." The threshold is rising from $178M to $189M, but the Dodgers' payroll "likely will rise in kind." As a "second-time offender, the Dodgers will be taxed at a rate" of 30%, as opposed to 17.5% last season (FOXSPORTS.com, 1/15). In L.A., Steve Dilbeck notes when factoring in Kershaw's new average annual salary, the Dodgers' "current projected rotation" of Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren and Josh Beckett will cost the team $87.5M next season. That is "more than 13 team's total 2013 payrolls" (L.A. TIMES, 1/16). In California, Mark Whicker notes Kershaw's average annual salary "exceeds the 2013 opening day payroll" of the Astros (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/16). MLB Network's John Hart said, “The Dodgers have money. This is also a new ownership. This would not have happened three or four years ago in Los Angeles” ("MLB Tonight," MLB Network, 1/15). ESPN's Michael Wilbon noted the Dodgers "have more money than any franchise in the game, including the Yankees, with the new media deals they've got out there" ("PTI," ESPN, 1/15).
SPENDING THAT TV MONEY: ESPN L.A.'s Mark Saxon noted the "backdrop to all of this is the deal with Time Warner Cable, which launches its new Dodgers channel next month." Before it "ends, that deal will net those owners" about $6B, which "kind of puts this Kershaw deal in a new light." Saxon: "So reach around and pat yourself on the back for one day, having to pay an extra $5 or $10 every month on your cable bill so Kershaw can remain a Dodger" (ESPNLA.com, 1/15).