Kemp Signs Two-Year Deal To Avoid Arbitration

MONDAY, 7:07pm: Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports that Kemp's contract could allow him to make up to $11.25MM in total. 

If Kemp makes 600 plate appearances this year, he would increase his 2011 salary by $50K.  If he makes 650 plate appearances, he'd earn an additional $100K, and 700 plate appearances would tack on another $150K.

Kemp made 667 plate appearances in 2009 and 657 the year prior.

FRIDAY, 7:40pm: The Dodgers avoided arbitration with Matt Kemp today and signed him to a two-year contract worth nearly $11MM. The deal, which the sides have been working on all week, is now official, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. Kemp was arbitration-eligible for the first time, so the Dodgers will have him under team control for another season after the deal expires. By that point, Kemp will be considerably richer, as he is set to earn $4MM this year and $6.95MM in 2011.

That's more than what two comparable players, Nick Markakis and Carlos Beltran, got for the same two years. Beltran earned $9.5MM for his first two arbitration years and Markakis will earn $9.75MM. Kemp, who is only 25, combined good center field defense with an .842 OPS for the Dodgers last year.

Jim Bowden first reported that the sides were close to a deal and MLB.com's Ken Gurnick said they had reached an agreement before Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times added the details.

Gurnick hears that the Dodgers are also talking two-year deals with Andre Ethier, Jonathan Broxton and James Loney. They agreed to terms with Chad Billingsley on a 2010 contract today.


52 Responses to Kemp Signs Two-Year Deal To Avoid Arbitration Leave a Reply

  1. I really wonder why the Dodgers are only doing 2 year deals with Kemp/Ethier/Loney.

    Those are players that should be highly productive for at least the next 5+ Years.

    • txdodger73 5 years ago

      Simple….. The Divorce proceedings and subsequent Ownership issue need to be resolved. Once that happens this core of talent will be locked up longterm. By doing the 2 year deals the Dodgers can at least control 2 years of arbitration.

      Tx

  2. Kemp is just covering his 2 arb years….He will then get paid! Dodgers better hope they are in his plans after 2 years. And they better have Holliday $$$ to sign him.

    And he is dating Rhianna!

    • vtadave 5 years ago

      Kemp will still have a year of arbitration remaining once his two-year deal is done.

  3. If I were the Dodgers I’d be trying to lock some of these guys up for more than two years. If not, they could really struggle to retain these guys down the road when they have to pay market value. For the sake of Dodgers fans, I hope that the divorce gets resolved and they win a World Series soon because this young core is going to get very expensive in a few years.

    • vtadave 5 years ago

      They will certainly try, particularly with Kemp and Ethier. I wouldn’t worry though about them having money to pay these guys in 2012, as by then, no Juan Pierre to pay for and a lesser committment to Manny. Dee Gordon replaces Furcal, etc.

  4. bjsguess 5 years ago

    I take my hat off to Tim. He predicted $10m and was spot on. I thought that Kemp could have gotten at least $14m for these two years.

  5. Guest 5 years ago

    Cool beans.. Now get Bills a deal.

  6. 55saveslives 5 years ago

    Kemp is as “real deal” as it gets…I’m very surprised they didn’t go longer with him.

  7. markjsunz 5 years ago

    Check out the interview with Frank McCourt on mlb.com and go to the Dodgers under team. This deal helps kemp out just a little bit in case he gets hurt but it is a lot of noise about nothing. The marlins signing Josh Johnson for two free agent years had some meat to it. Of course in two years the dodgers can sit down with kemp and sign another deal. If he continues to play at this level and keeps improving he will be costly. How about the 10 year deal the rays signed with Even Longoria.

  8. Muggi 5 years ago

    Yeah, strange deal IMO…good for the Dodgers to get him under market for the next two, but they’ll end up paying him a whole lot more or losing him at the end of the deal.

    A guy like Kemp, I would have thought they’d go 5+ years at a reasonable rate…kinda like the Utley contract (7/85).

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Lets say Kemp has another really good year.. he would get a fat pay check in 2011. Most likely something like 10 million dollars, maybe more.

      • Muggi 5 years ago

        I doubt there’s nearly $3m in incentives…that’s crazy high. Anyway, like I said I think it’s a great short-term deal, but IMO they would have been better served long-term to sign him for 5+.

        He basically got the same deal Jayson Werth did (’09 2.5, ’10 7.5), but he’s 5yrs younger. If he has good years in 10 and 11, someone is going to throw a monster 5+yr contract at the kid.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          Sorry I was trying to point out he would get a lot of money, maybe 10 Mil or more if he went year to year..

        • vtadave 5 years ago

          No one other than the Dodgers can throw a monster contract at Kemp after 2011, as they control him through the 2012 season.

        • vtadave 5 years ago

          No one other than the Dodgers can throw a monster contract at Kemp after 2011, as they control him through the 2012 season.

  9. R_y_a_n 5 years ago

    Why only two years, is my only question. Dude is the face of their franchise, I think they should’ve locked him up for 5+ years. Though I remember their being rumors of McCourt not allowing them to go past 2 years.

  10. ateam043 5 years ago

    Time to lock up Ethier!!!

  11. markjsunz 5 years ago

    This type of deal gives kemp a payday next year if say God forbid he had a serious injury. And it saves the Dodgers money in case of a likely larger award through arbitration. But at the end of the day the dodgers have not made any kind of commitment. The Deal that the Marlins made yesterday with Josh Johnson buying out two years of his free agency was good, or a deal like Tampa gave Evan Longoria for 10 years was good for both the player and the team. Kemp is going to want a payday when he becomes a free agent and if continues to play at this level and improve he will get it.

    • vtadave 5 years ago

      Longoria got a six-year deal with three club options. It’s really quite a deal for the Rays assuming of course he keeps up his production. A TOTAL of $12.5 million for his three arbitration years and then another $30 million in options for what would have been his first three free agent years.

    • vtadave 5 years ago

      Longoria got a six-year deal with three club options. It’s really quite a deal for the Rays assuming of course he keeps up his production. A TOTAL of $12.5 million for his three arbitration years and then another $30 million in options for what would have been his first three free agent years.

  12. Alldaybaseball 5 years ago

    Great deal for the Dodgers. Two years cheap for that kind of caliber.

  13. quincy0191 5 years ago

    Matt Kemp: Fire your agent. You’re one of the most valuable center fielders in baseball (probably the most valuable) and as a Giants fan it kills me to see you lose out to the Dodgers like that. You should be making at LEAST $7-8M a year, probably more like $10M (Fangraphs values his 2008 at $15M and his 2009 at $22M).

    • He also had only his second full season, and his first patrolling center field full-time, with the Dodgers. He is getting a pretty sweet deal here for two guaranteed years of a big raise.

      Furthermore, want to know who was the most valuable CF in all baseball according to FanGraphs? Franklin Gutierrez at $26.4 million. Do you honestly think that Gutierrez, as good defensively, and pretty decent offensively, as he is is truly worth $26.4 million annually? Guess who are the top five most valuable CF’ers?

      1) Gutierrez: $26.4
      2) Matt Kemp: $22.6
      3) Nyjer Morgan: $22.0
      4) Mike Cameron: $19.4
      5) Michael Bourn: $19.0

      Quincy you see how some of these statistics have to be taken with a grain of salt?

      • quincy0191 5 years ago

        I’m going to reply to all of these at once:

        Yes, I think Gutierrez was worth $26.4M last year, because he was. If he repeats his 2009 next year, he’ll be worth the same. Of course, he won’t be paid that much, because that figure assumes no risk on the part of the Mariners, and there is risk. Also, Gutierrez is under team control, which limits his ability to drive up his price through bidding (though that doesn’t seem to decrease arb awards much). Young players are almost never paid what they’re worth, but Kemp has had a couple of monster seasons, and there’s a pretty good chance he gets $8M+ in arbitration. So while FanGraphs’ valuation is not indicative of what Kemp should be paid, but what he was worth, it is an accurate tool when predicting future value, and it says he’ll be worth a hell of a lot more than $4M next year, so he’s getting screwed (read this if you need more of an explanation: link to fangraphs.com).

        Tim Lincecum’s situation last year is different from Kemp’s or his this year. He’s a Super Two this year, which means he’s entering his first year of arbitration. That means that his salaries the past two seasons were intentionally not anywhere near his free agent value; for the first three seasons of a player’s six years of team control (or two if they qualify as a Super Two, which Lincecum did), they are paid a salary which is essentially decided by the team. So since he was not eligible for arbitration in 2009, and therefore could not negotiate his salary, he was basically paid what the team decided to pay him. This is the same thing Kemp went through, only for three years instead of two and a partial season. So Lincecum’s salary the past two seasons is not a result of arbitration awards or a multi-year contract like Kemp’s, but a series of one-year deals which are kept artificially low through the player’s agreement, and therefore the situations are not comparable. Kemp, on the other hand, had the freedom to negotiate a higher salary or go to arbitration court, which I strongly believe would have resulted in a much higher salary. Now, if Lincecum signed a contract that paid him a similar salary in 2010, I agree it would be ridiculously low and he could have easily gotten more.

        Believe me, I know how to use FanGraphs’ dollar values, I think you just misinterpreted what I was saying. Players shouldn’t be paid exactly what FanGraphs says, but Kemp is obviously worth a hell of a lot more than $5.5M a year; he’s very likely to be worth five times that with continued improvement. When you sign a contract for five times under your value, you got taken. And Either is a good hitter, but he’s also a butcher on defense according to UZR; the accuracy of that metric is debatable, but that’s why he loses a lot of his value.

      • quincy0191 5 years ago

        I’m going to reply to all of these at once:

        Yes, I think Gutierrez was worth $26.4M last year, because he was. If he repeats his 2009 next year, he’ll be worth the same. Of course, he won’t be paid that much, because that figure assumes no risk on the part of the Mariners, and there is risk. Also, Gutierrez is under team control, which limits his ability to drive up his price through bidding (though that doesn’t seem to decrease arb awards much). Young players are almost never paid what they’re worth, but Kemp has had a couple of monster seasons, and there’s a pretty good chance he gets $8M+ in arbitration. So while FanGraphs’ valuation is not indicative of what Kemp should be paid, but what he was worth, it is an accurate tool when predicting future value, and it says he’ll be worth a hell of a lot more than $4M next year, so he’s getting screwed (read this if you need more of an explanation: link to fangraphs.com).

        Tim Lincecum’s situation last year is different from Kemp’s or his this year. He’s a Super Two this year, which means he’s entering his first year of arbitration. That means that his salaries the past two seasons were intentionally not anywhere near his free agent value; for the first three seasons of a player’s six years of team control (or two if they qualify as a Super Two, which Lincecum did), they are paid a salary which is essentially decided by the team. So since he was not eligible for arbitration in 2009, and therefore could not negotiate his salary, he was basically paid what the team decided to pay him. This is the same thing Kemp went through, only for three years instead of two and a partial season. So Lincecum’s salary the past two seasons is not a result of arbitration awards or a multi-year contract like Kemp’s, but a series of one-year deals which are kept artificially low through the player’s agreement, and therefore the situations are not comparable. Kemp, on the other hand, had the freedom to negotiate a higher salary or go to arbitration court, which I strongly believe would have resulted in a much higher salary. Now, if Lincecum signed a contract that paid him a similar salary in 2010, I agree it would be ridiculously low and he could have easily gotten more.

        Believe me, I know how to use FanGraphs’ dollar values, I think you just misinterpreted what I was saying. Players shouldn’t be paid exactly what FanGraphs says, but Kemp is obviously worth a hell of a lot more than $5.5M a year; he’s very likely to be worth five times that with continued improvement. When you sign a contract for five times under your value, you got taken. And Either is a good hitter, but he’s also a butcher on defense according to UZR; the accuracy of that metric is debatable, but that’s why he loses a lot of his value.

    • Know that I am a HUGE Dodger fan, and a HUGE fan of Matt Kemp and am stoked by his 5-tool potential, but I am trying to make a point here that you are slightly overreacting on this, and should apply the same logic to your own players like Tim Lincecum:

      2007: $2.025 million signing bonus
      2008: $405k
      2009: $650k

      Granted he get’s a major raise in arbitration, but do you see how the contract process in baseball is a little more complicated than FanGraphs’ Dollars (converted from WAR) makes it seem?

    • Oh, and FanGraphs also says Andre Ethier was only worth $11.0 million. Just a thought.

      • vtadave 5 years ago

        Ethier’s fielding took a dump this year, hence the decline in value per FanGraphs.

      • vtadave 5 years ago

        Ethier’s fielding took a dump this year, hence the decline in value per FanGraphs.

    • dire straits 5 years ago

      Yeah, the guy is worth a lot more than 5MM/yr. But he likes being in Los Angeles. Shows how it’s not always about the money for ball players.

  14. Still not sure I get this one. You would think the team would have wanted to go year to year. I cant see anyway he would have gotten a payout north of 10 million next year. You would think that the only way this makes sense for the team is with a team friendly third year option or a two year FA buy out like Johnson. Dont like this deal at all from the team side.

    • If the team goes year to year, he makes much more than he does in this deal here. This also keeps the team from going through the arbitration process for the next two years with Kemp – which from a management perspective can be a pain. Consider Kemp, RIGHT NOW, is worth around $12 million, give or take $2 million annually, why wouldn’t you, as the Dodgers’ front office, want to give him a two year deal at a lower than market price?

      See why this deal makes sense for the team now?

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      I think they signed this deal to show they are willing to sign Kemp for multiple seasons. No, this isnt the deal I wanted. I would have given him Nick Markakis’s deal, if I could. However, it proves to the agent(who is also Billz agent) that the Dodgers are willing to guarantee money to him

    • quincy0191 5 years ago

      This is a great deal from the Dodgers’ perspective; Kemp is worth a lot more than $5.5M a year. I think he could have won this contract’s value in one year if he went to a hearing.

      • vtadave 5 years ago

        Kemp would not have got close to $11 million in arbitration this year. Assuming that’s what you were referring to. Based upon past cases, I would venture to say $4 million this year and $8 million in 2011, meaning the Dodgers got a slight discount in return for Kemp getting some measure of security.

        • quincy0191 5 years ago

          I have a hard time believing that he gets anything less than $8M. Arbitration courts are notoriously based on silly stats, so here are a few (these are among center fielders):
          Hits: Kemp was tied for third
          HR: Kemp was second
          RBI: 1st
          SB: T-5th
          AVG: 6th
          SLG: 2nd
          OPS: 2nd
          wOBA: 2nd
          WAR: 2nd
          Basically, Kemp is either the best or second best all-around centerfielder. Given that arb courts weigh offense much higher than defense (Fangraphs says he’s the best offensive CF), he’s got no injury history, and at 26 next year he is the prime age for improvement, getting paid $4M next year is taking only a fraction of his worth, and I’d be very surprised if he didn’t get any MVP votes next year on top of an even better year, which would put him in line to get more than $6M in an arb hearing in 2011. I don’t see any way this works out for Kemp unless he injures himself before ST and never plays again or takes a massive and entirely unforeseen drop-off in performance.

      • vtadave 5 years ago

        Kemp would not have got close to $11 million in arbitration this year. Assuming that’s what you were referring to. Based upon past cases, I would venture to say $4 million this year and $8 million in 2011, meaning the Dodgers got a slight discount in return for Kemp getting some measure of security.

    • quincy0191 5 years ago

      This is a great deal from the Dodgers’ perspective; Kemp is worth a lot more than $5.5M a year. I think he could have won this contract’s value in one year if he went to a hearing.

  15. Don’t rule out the possibility that they extend his contract next off-season, people. Just because the deal is only 2 years doesn’t mean he is destined to go to arbitration in 2012 and become a free agent in 2013.

  16. good thing they spent all that money on manroidz lolol, he’ll be lucky to manage 400 at bats all season considering how much of damaged goods he is. Kemp really shot himself in the foot not going for arbitration, he would have gotten 10 million easy from the cheap ass dodgers.

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      Kemp wouldn’t have gotten 10M, not even close. They go by the salary the year before. He made less than 500k and was projected to get ~4m in arb this year and anywhere from 7-10M next season depending on performance. He gets less money in the 2nd year in order to have the protection in case he gets hurt. This basically seems like a deal simply to avoid arb the next few seasons, because the numbers he will get are very close to what was projected

      and what the hell does Manny have to do with this? He gets just 10m next season. And you think he will get 400 abs and is washed up? I suggest you look at his past contract seasons. By damaged goods, I’m assuming you mean the suspension and are completley ignoring the fact he played with a broken hand from July to Oct… And was still one of the most productive OFs in the NL West.. Let me guess, you’re a Giants fan, aren’t you?

      • markjsunz 5 years ago

        There is a good chance that Mannys numbers will be in big decline, due to his age and steroid testing, You seldom see a players numbers improve past his mid thirtys. The one thing he does do in the line up is give whoever is batting ahead of him better pitches to hit. We will have to wait and see.

        • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

          I dont expect him to hit 350 with 40 Hrs and 130 RBIs, but to expect a big decline is premature. Given the fact that it is accepted that he played with a broken hand and was still above average, and he knows this is his contract year, looking for another 2yr+ deal, I do NOT expect a decline. Bill James has him at 296 average, 32-2B, 30-Hrs, 101 RBIs, 406OBP, 537 slugging, 943 OPS, 241 ISO(140 games, 514 ABs)Chone- 280 average, 22-2B, 24-HRs, 78-RBIs, 374 OBP, 511 slugging, 885 OPS, 231 ISO(114 games, 415 AB)Marcel- 289 average, 25-2B, 21-HRs, 73 RBIs, 389 OBP, 509 slugging, 897 OPS, 220 ISO(409 ABs)For some reason, Chone and ISO seem to think that Manny wont play much… but I see no one to take over for him. Even so, in ~400 Abs, they expect over 20HRs. Given the fact that he wont have the suspension, the hand injury and most likely the hammy injury, he should get at least 500 ABs, if not 600… Balance it out and in 600 ABs, CHONE and Marcel equate to 30 HRs on the season…

          • markjsunz 5 years ago

            We will see. One thing for sure Manny is a very exciting player, the younger players on the team seem to have taking a liking to him, and he has been helpful in the development of the younger players.

    • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

      Kemp wouldn’t have gotten 10M, not even close. They go by the salary the year before. He made less than 500k and was projected to get ~4m in arb this year and anywhere from 7-10M next season depending on performance. He gets less money in the 2nd year in order to have the protection in case he gets hurt. This basically seems like a deal simply to avoid arb the next few seasons, because the numbers he will get are very close to what was projected

      and what the hell does Manny have to do with this? He gets just 10m next season. And you think he will get 400 abs and is washed up? I suggest you look at his past contract seasons. By damaged goods, I’m assuming you mean the suspension and are completley ignoring the fact he played with a broken hand from July to Oct… And was still one of the most productive OFs in the NL West.. Let me guess, you’re a Giants fan, aren’t you?

  17. good thing they spent all that money on manroidz lolol, he’ll be lucky to manage 400 at bats all season considering how much of damaged goods he is. Kemp really shot himself in the foot not going for arbitration, he would have gotten 10 million easy from the cheap ass dodgers.

  18. laaweosme 5 years ago

    Ok 1 down 4 to go(martin,either,bills,and,kershaw). If we sign all these guys plus a all stat pitcher dodgers will all the way!!!!

  19. laaweosme 5 years ago

    Ok 1 down 4 to go(martin,either,bills,and,kershaw). If we sign all these guys plus a all stat pitcher dodgers will all the way!!!!

  20. bleedblueking 5 years ago

    i love how everyone becomes a reputable arbitor this time of year. kemp would not have made 10mill after arbitration, you dont jump from 500k to 10mill not even if you hit 60HR 400AVG 150RBI. the dodgers have to wait for the divorce to be resolved thats why kemp didnt get a longer deal, if mccourt is able to hold on to the franchise then hell very likely give kemp a huge payday after his last arb eligible year. if mccourt has to sell the team he gives the new owner a choice of what to do with all the young studs after all their 2 year deals expire but kemp is the dodgers franchise player and anyone would want to hold on to at least him

    • Jason_F 5 years ago

      “you dont jump from 500k to 10mill”

      Ryan Howard did just that, actually. Except he was renewed at $900k his second year. And he only had to hit 47HR, .268AVG, 136RBI.

Leave a Reply