SAN DIEGO — The rebuilding San Diego Padres and left-hander Clayton Richard agreed to a $6 million, two-year contract Wednesday that runs through 2019.
The 34-year-old Richard is the oldest player on the team, which doesn’t envision being competitive until 2019 or 2020. He is 7-14 with a 4.82 ERA and has thrown 185 innings this season.
Richard could have become a free agent after the World Series. He had a $1.75 million base salary this year and has earned $750,000 in bonuses for making at least 25 starts.
General manager A.J. Preller said Richard wanted to remain with the Padres, and his veteran presence in a clubhouse full of young players is valuable.
Preller said Richard will be in the rotation to start next season, but he understands it will be competitive from there on out and he could be used in other roles.
“We bet on people and he’s a pretty easy person to bet on in terms of work ethic and the way he goes about it,” Preller said.
Richard said he believes in the direction the Padres are going.
“What I’m going to do the next couple of years is what I’ve been doing — continue to work hard and help get this team in position to win baseball games,” he said. “Hopefully, that will be a good example for the young guys.”
Richard gets $3 million annually and can earn $1.5 million a year in performance bonuses based on innings: $250,000 each for 125 and 150, and $500,000 apiece for 175 and 200.
If he’s an All-Star next year, Richard’s 2019 salary would escalate by $500,000, and if he finishes among the top eight in Cy Young Award voting next year, his 2019 pay would go up by $1 million.
Richard would get a $300,000 assignment bonus the first time he is traded during the contract.
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