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Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner & the largest contracts in Dodgers history

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A look at the 10 biggest deals in Dodgers history

Kevin Brown #27...
Kevin Brown signed the largest contract in baseball history before the 1999 season, a $105 million contract over seven years to join the Dodgers.

The Dodgers were able to quiet a few narratives with their holiday spending spree on Monday, flexing some financial muscle to bring back both Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner.

But not only are the reported contracts for Jansen and Turner the two largest in total value ever given out by the Dodgers under Andrew Friedman, who was hired in October 2014. They are two of the 10 biggest deals in Dodgers franchise history.

The number thrown around quite a lot as a maximum under Friedman was $48 million, the total expenditure of the contracts for Brandon McCarthy before 2015, for Scott Kazmir in 2016, and for Rich Hill in 2017. But that ignored the $62.5 million committed to free agent Hector Olivera in 2015, then subsequently reallocated with his trade to Atlanta.

Here is a look at the top contracts either signed by or assumed by the Dodgers, ranked by total value:

  1. $215 million, 7 years: Clayton Kershaw (2014-2020)
  2. $160 million, 8 years: Matt Kemp (2012-2019)
  3. $147 million, 6 years: Zack Greinke (2013-2018)
  4. $131.6 million, 6⅓ years: Adrian Gonzalez (2012-2018)*
  5. $106.8 million, 5⅓ years: Carl Crawford (2012-2017)*
  6. $105 million, 7 years: Kevin Brown (1999-2005)
  7. $85 million, 5 years: Andre Ethier (2013-2017)
  8. $84 million, 6 years: Shawn Green (2000-2005)
  9. $80 million, 5 years: Kenley Jansen (2017-2021)
  10. $64 million, 4 years: Justin Turner (2017-2020)

*Gonzalez and Crawford were acquired via “the Punto Trade” on Aug. 25, 2012.

Eight of these deals have been signed or assumed under the current Guggenheim Baseball Partners ownership group, but there is one other thing to note about several of these top 10 deals:

  • Kershaw: can opt out after 5 years (after 2018)
  • Kemp: traded after 3 seasons (2014)
  • Greinke: opted out after 3 seasons (2015)
  • Gonzalez: still has 2 years remaining (2018)
  • Crawford: released with 1½ years remaining (2016)
  • Brown: traded after 5 seasons (2003)
  • Ethier: has one year remaining (2017, plus 2018 club option)
  • Green: traded after 5 years (2004)
  • Jansen: can opt out after 3 years (2019)
  • Turner: unknown

With the majority of these deals, the player rarely sticks around until the end of the deal, either by his choice or the team’s. It’s just part of the deal, a cost of doing business, if you will.