Monday, January 27, 2014
Clayton Kershaw expected to make more than entire Atlanta pitching staff
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will make an average of $30.7 million annually over the life of the seven-year contract he just signed.
By way of comparison, the Atlanta Braves' 12-man pitching staff is expected to make $27 million combined in 2014.
I know you've probably heard or read statistics like that before. People are quite fond of pointing out that Alex Rodriguez makes more than the entire Houston Astros' roster, for example.
But here's the thing: The Astros aren't even trying to win right now. They stink. They had the worst record in the league last year at 51-111. I tend to dismiss the Astros as a Triple-A team, so of course they are making Triple-A salaries.
The Braves, in contrast, won the NL East with 96 wins in 2013. Not only that, they led all of baseball with a 3.18 team ERA. Atlanta has a very good pitching staff that happens to be inexpensive as well.
It's hard to say Kershaw doesn't deserve his money. He's won two of the last three Cy Young Awards in the National League. He's the best left-handed starter in baseball.
But, the Braves example shows you don't necessarily have to throw around millions upon millions of dollars to build a successful pitching staff, or a successful team. Keep that in mind when people try to tell you the New York Yankees are a lock for the 2014 World Series after they spent almost half a billion dollars this offseason on free agents Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Masahiro Tanaka.
The Yankees have won the offseason for sure, but there is no special prize handed to the team that spends the most money or collects the most big-name players.