Photo: Stacy Revere (Getty)

Clayton Kershaw’s velocity may be trending in the wrong direction, but he’s still a damn ace, and as such he was considered one of the huge targets in what many have expected to be a landscape-altering winter of baseball mega-stars chasing the free-agency big bucks to new towns and new teams. Not so!

Kershaw is now extremely, extremely rich. In 2012 he signed a two-year, $19 million deal in his first year of arbitration eligibility; two years later he signed what was then the richest contract for a pitcher in baseball history, a seven-year, $215 million deal that paid him more per year than any baseball player ever. And now, having opted out of the final two years of that deal, Kershaw, at 30 years old, is locked in for whatever is left of his prime years, on a powerhouse team, and on a deal that gives the Dodgers moderate annual savings while getting Kershaw one more year of superstar money. A happy story all the way around, if you ask me.

And, best of all, it’s just the beginning of a winter where the best and brightest superstars will return triumphantly to the only teams they’ve ever known, sparing those teams’ fans the heartbreak and torment of watching them dominate for the next decade on bigger, brighter stages. Hooray!