Clayton Kershaw, winner of the 2011 Cy Young Award as the National League’s best pitcher, avoided salary arbitration by signing a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Left-handed Kershaw, 23, the youngest pitcher to take the NL honor since 20-year-old Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets in 1985, led the league with a 2.28 earned run average and 248 strikeouts and tied for the lead with 21 wins last season.
He was the seventh pitcher to lead the league in all three categories since the Cy Young Award debuted in 1956.
“I’m excited and happy, and just glad it’s over with,” Kershaw said yesterday. “I don’t have to worry about it next year. Now that it’s over, I can just play ball.”
Kershaw received a $19 million contract, MLB.com said. He had sought a $10 million annual salary in arbitration after earning $500,000 last year, the report said.
Kershaw’s ERA in 2011 was the lowest for any starting pitcher in Major League Baseball and the best for an NL Cy Young Award winner since 1997, when Pedro Martinez had a 1.90 ERA.
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