22 Reasons why Clayton Kershaw is worth his record contract

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw wears number 22 for the Dodgers. So it only makes sense to list 22 reasons why he's worth his new contract.

Earlier today the Dodgers reportedly agreed to a 7-year $215 million dollar contract extension with Clayton Kershaw, 25, that includes an opt-out clause after the fifth year. It's the largest contract for a pitcher in baseball history and the largest average annual value, $30.7 million dollars, in baseball history. As a result, here's 22 reasons why number 22 is worth the $215 million he was reportedly given today.

***Some of these reasons are a little ridiculous, but they do add to his credibility.***

1. He's only 25.

This reason sounds ridiculous if someone didn't know how good Kershaw was. But since he's only 25 and is just beginning his prime, $215 million makes sense if he keeps getting better.

2. He's won two Cy-Young awards.

This reason makes number one sound even better. Kershaw won his first Cy-Young in 2011 when he was 23 and his second in 2013 when he was 25. He also had a shot at winning it in 2012 , but finished second in the voting to R.A. Dickey.

3. He's charitable.

In 2012, Kershaw won the Roberto Clemente award. The award is given to the MLB player that "best represents the game both on and off the field." Kershaw was also the youngest recipient of the award in its history.

4. He's consistent.

Over the last three regular seasons, Kershaw has started 99 games. In those starts, the lefty has a 2.21 ERA and a 51-23 record. He's struck out 709 batters and has a 3.07 SO/BB ratio.

5. He had a 1.83 ERA in 2013.

That's the lowest since Pedro Martinez's 1.74 ERA in 2000.

6. He has the best career ERA for a starting pitcher who's thrown for more than 1,000 innings in baseball HISTORY.

His career ERA is 2.60 now instead of 2.70, but still, that's worth $215 million.

7. He's thrown for over 200 innings in each of the last four seasons.

Here were his inning totals in each of the last four seasons (in order from 2010 to 2012): 204.1, 233.1, 227.2, and 236. In his first two and only two other seasons he pitched for 107.2 and 171 innings.

8. He goes to Africa every offseason.

This is directly related and arguably the reason why number 3 exists.

9. He's a lefty.

That's an advantage right?

10. His curveball is public enemy number one.

Watch the video in this article to find out how and why.

11. He dominates the Giants.

The triple slash line for the Giants against Kershaw is .180/.228/.251 in 157 innings.

12. He picked up a slider during a bullpen session.

Seriously. Read this article for the story on how it happened.

13. He's very serious about is job. Sometimes even a little too serious.

The Inception part of this article is fantastic. It's one of the best Kershaw articles out there.

14. He probably could've received more money in free agency, but decided to stay with the team that drafted him.

Just look at his statistics. He definitely could've signed for more money.

15. This.

16. Also this.

That's his wife.

17. He's had the best ERA in the MLB over the last three seasons.

Kershaw's ERA over the last three years is 2.21 ERA. The three pitchers that finished second behind him have a 2.36 combined ERA over the last three seasons.

18. He's had an ERA under three in each of the last five seasons.

That's something Justin Verlander, Cliff Lee, Zack Greinke, Matt Cain, Jered Weaver, David Price, and Felix Hernandez all can't say the've done.

19. He's led the National League in WHIP in each of the last three seasons.

That's crazy. His combined WHIP over the last three seasons? 0.971.

20. He's humble.

How often is an article written about Kershaw being a bad teammate and/or selfish? Never. That's the answer.

21. He's the best pitcher on the planet.

Just look at his statistics.

22. He's Clayton Kershaw.

That's enough right?

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