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Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw reportedly signed a new contract for nearly $31 million per year. (USA Today)

Kershaw signs record deal

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Kershaw signs record deal
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Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitching ace Clayton Kershaw agreed to a seven-year, $215 million contract, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.

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Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles first reported the news that includes an opt-out clause in the contract after five seasons. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com confirmed the deal.

Kershaw, 25, wasn't yet a free agent and had one year of arbitration remaining. This deal buys out the final year of arbitration plus up to six years of free agency.

The contract is a record-breaker, as the previous largest contract for a pitcher was Justin Verlander's seven-year, $180 million extension to stay with the Detroit Tigers.

Kershaw, who was 16-9 last season, dominated the National League pitching leaderboards to win the National League Cy Young award for the second time in three years. He finished first in ERA (1.83), strikeouts (232) and walks-and-hits-per-inning-pitched ratio (0.92). Kershaw came in second in innings pitched (236), and he tied for third with 16 wins.

Kershaw was the NL Cy Young winner in 2011, and he finished second in 2012 to R.A. Dickey, then of the New York Mets.

Holland undergoes surgery

Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland underwent microfracture knee surgery last Friday after a fall while playing with his dog.

The surgery on his left knee repaired torn cartilage behind the kneecap, the team announced. Team medical director Dr. Keith Meister performed the procedure in which tiny fractures in the kneecap are created to stimulate cartilage growth.

Holland, 27, will be on crutches for six weeks before he is able to begin rehab. Estimates are his recovery could extend to the All-Star break in July.

As a starter in the Rangers' rotation last year, Holland posted a 10-9 record with a 3.42 ERA and 189 strikeouts in 213 innings.

Manuel to be Philly advisor

Former Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel is staying with the Phillies as a senior advisor to the general manager, according to reports.

Manuel, 70, was replaced as manager last season by Ryne Sandberg on Aug. 16. At the time, Manuel said it was not his decision to step away from the dugout after almost nine seasons with the Phillies.

But he will remain a part of the team, working for general manager Ruben Amaro.

Manuel's record as Phillies manager was 780-636. His teams won five National League East titles, one National League title and the 2008 World Series championship.

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