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Dodgers Complete Clayton Kershaw Deal

Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw made official the largest contract in baseball history for a pitcher on Friday.

Kershaw received a seven-year, $215 million deal that kept him from becoming a free agent after next season.

"This is the longest amount of years I'm comfortable with committing myself to," the two-time Cy Young award winner said in a phone interview. "I always want to be able to see the finish line and I think anything longer than this, I would feel overwhelmed trying to live up to those expectations and being able to pitch successfully for that long."

Kershaw's deal beat out Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, who signed a seven-year, $180 million deal last winter.

"I just kind of always had a feeling that it was going to work out and I didn't really let my mind get too much past it," Kershaw said.

The Dodgers will now shift their attention towards signing Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka as their payroll is coming close to $250 million.

"This is a long-term strategy of ours," Dodgers team president Stan Kasten said on Friday. "After five or six or seven years, it will make a lot more sense than it does to people looking at today's snapshot."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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