Dodgers’ opening day: Clayton Kershaw ($33 million) vs. Padres ($28 million)

Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw
(Jeff Gross / Getty Images)

Clayton Kershaw has started six times on opening day. He never has lost. On Monday, he makes what could be his most unusual start on opening day.

When Kershaw faces the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium, he will throw the first pitch of a season in which his salary will be greater than all of the Padres.

Not just greater than the nine Padres in the starting lineup. Greater than all 25 men on the Padres’ opening-day roster.

Kershaw, the Dodgers’ ace and three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, will earn $33 million this season, the highest salary of any player in the major leagues.

The Padres, in a season that might best be described as “extreme tanking,” have committed to pay $28 million to the 25 players on Monday’s active roster. (Here’s the player-by-player breakdown, from the San Diego Union-Tribune.)


Of note: the average major league salary this year is $4.5 million, according to the Associated Press. The highest salary on the Padres: $3 million.

The Dodgers have committed $161 million to the 25 players on Monday’s active roster, according to a True Blue LA salary survey.

(The Associated Press and USA Today surveys add a prorated share of any signing bonus in listing a player’s annual salary, no matter when the bonus actually might be paid, in accordance with the accounting standards used to determine baseball’s luxury tax.)

Estimates of the Dodgers’ total opening-day payroll, down from last season but still the highest in the major leagues (including salaries of players on the disabled list and money owed to former players): $225 million (AP), $228 million (True Blue LA) and $235 million (USA Today).

Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin


Here are some suggestions to make the national pastime easier to watch

What’s the secret to Clayton Kershaw’s opening day dominance? He’s Clayton Kershaw.

A father-son lunch at Dodger Stadium is filled with hope and dreams of a World Series win