dodger_stadium_side-view

Dodgers Back Home, Still Loving Kershaw’s Contract

You know what we really, really liked at the time? When the Dodgers signed Clayton Kershaw to a $215 million extension, even if he isn’t starting on Sunday. You know why? Not just because he’s the best pitcher in baseball — he is — but because due to his youth, he’s only signed through age 32. (Assuming he doesn’t opt out first.) You’re paying him a lot, but you’re paying him through what can reasonably be expected to be his best years. It’s not like signing Robinson Cano through age 40, or Albert Pujols through age 76.

I’m reminded of this thanks to today’s news that the Tigers have given Miguel Cabrera — arguably the best hitter in baseball — an additional eight years and $248 million on top of the two years he has left. Total, they’re tied to him for the next 10 years, for $292 million. Cabrera is great, possibly on his way to being one of the 10 best hitters of all time, but he turns 31 in April. He’s limited defensively at best; his body type isn’t exactly the sort that traditionally ages gracefully; his off-the-field record isn’t impeccable. He’s two years away from free agency.

The average value isn’t what bothers me — it surpasses Kershaw, which, fine — but the seemingly needless extension though his age-40 season just cannot work out well. (Just ask the Angels and Albert Pujols!) And that’s why this makes me think of Kershaw, the Dodgers, and their crazy spending over the last year or two: you can complain about taking on all that Carl Crawford salary, or signing Brandon League, or giving Brian Wilson $10m a year, or signing every Cuban — and for many of those things, we have — but they’ve stuck to their “not past age 36″ rule so far. It’s a rule that’s served them well, and one I hope they stick to.

Angels
Dodgers 
7:10pm PT
Los Angeles, CA
LF
Calhoun
RF
Puig
CF
Trout
LF
Crawford
1B
Pujols
SS
Ramirez
RF
Hamilton
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Freese
3B
Uribe
DH
Ibanez
CF
Ethier
2B
Kendrick
2B
Turner
C
Ianetta
C
Ellis
SS
Aybar
P
Greinke

***

Anyway: baseball! It’s been weird to see every other team playing spring games this week while the Dodgers have been on the sidelines after their journey to Australia, and it’s probably going to be weirder to watch this game knowing that it doesn’t count after they just played two games that did. (Or, watching those Australia games didn’t feel like they counted. I’m not sure which.) We get our first look at Zack Greinke since March 12, Yasiel Puig selfishly bats before everyone else, and otherwise these are more or less the Opening Day lineups for both teams. (The Angels will utilize Raul Ibanez at DH, while Greinke will hit for himself, because Greinke is awesome.)

You won’t, however, see Alex Guerrero, who apparently strained an oblique and is out for this series. But at least Corey Seager is in town and available, and it’s never a bad thing when we get a look at him.

While the game is on SNLA, you’re in luck if you can’t get it, because the Angels will be broadcasting it as well on Fox Sports West. Also, we’ll get our first look at what seem to be some cool improvements to Dodger Stadium. But mostly, we’ll be watching mostly real lineups play kind of fake baseball, reminding us that the real thing is so very, very close.


About

Mike wrote daily for over six long years (2007-13) about the Dodgers at Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness, which was named 2011′s “Best Sports Blog” by LA Weekly. He can currently be found writing multiple times per week at FanGraphs and ESPN, has been a producer and editor for Sports on Earth, and built The Hardball Times. He lives in New York City and will probably be asleep or on vacation when awesome things happen.


387 comments
LA_Woman
LA_Woman

Huh. So we had a new trolly homophobe troll.

Tired Math Cat
Tired Math Cat

okay, who's trolling and attacking VND? i'm warning you, i will get you. you will be sorry. 

Puce Deuce
Puce Deuce

I think a great short movie could be made about VND at the DMV.

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

Poop. 1st time I ever left a game early. KMT's son started driving him nuts about the time Greinke left the game & we left as Dominguez was making a mess of things. He hit 98 several times though.

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

LOLS sorry vnd

VietnamDodger: Gardened Vomit

Puce Deuce
Puce Deuce

Plaschke's next column better mention that Puig hit the cutoff man.

TheConman
TheConman

An anagram of Daniel Brim is "Denial Brim"

Puce Deuce
Puce Deuce

Where is Ramon Hernandez when we need him?

Lobo
Lobo

Rank Red Pulp is an anagram of Purple Drank

steelmohawk
steelmohawk

@LA_Woman  it seemed to be his sole focus, every insult was about the same GD thing

Tired Math Cat
Tired Math Cat

i'll bombard you with math and then make you realize how unimportant you are with logic. 

Lobo
Lobo

@TheConman Maybe this is how capn got to retire so early...