Kemp Won’t Talk Extension Once Season Starts

The Dodgers’ best player is a year away from hitting free agency and if they don’t lock him up by the time the 2012 season starts, it appears that he’ll test the open market. Agent Dave Stewart told Bill Plaschke of the LA Times that he hopes to complete an extension for Matt Kemp by Opening Day 2012.

"I know it is not a good thing to negotiate a contract during the course of the year; it's just not," Stewart said. "The player needs to be clear of mind and just do his job, and the organization also doesn't need the distraction."

Timing isn’t just one consideration for the Dodgers. Kemp narrowly missed a 40-40 season and is a leading candidate for the National League MVP, so we’re “talking about some pretty heavy dollars," as Stewart points out.

"If we have a concern at all, it's going to be, are we going to be able to get paid what we're trying to get," Stewart said.

There are few statistical matches for Kemp, who led the league in home runs (39), OPS+ (171), total bases (353), runs scored (115) and RBI (126) this season. The 27-year-old can look forward to "new ground" from a contractual standpoint as well.

GM Ned Colletti says the Dodgers can afford long-term deals for Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw. MLBTR estimates a $16.3MM salary for Kemp in 2012, his final season before he’s eligible for free agency.

29 Responses to Kemp Won’t Talk Extension Once Season Starts Leave a Reply

  1. Ned better get this done, along with a deal for Kershaw too.

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

      It’s not really up to Ned, or even Frank. In the end it’s really up to MLB.

  2. pmc765 4 years ago

    If I were Kemp I’d want to get out of Dodger Stadium. Being a vassal of Lord McCourt, combined with the succession uncertainty, doesn’t hurt either.

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

      As “vassals” go, he’ll be well-compensated no matter what. The only thing uncertain about the succession is who it will be, not whether it will be a much, much better situation than the current one. That part is virtually guaranteed. I’m sure Kemp and his agent have figured this out, even if many baseball fans haven’t.

  3. He is as good as gone

    • captainjeter 4 years ago

      my  guess   both Kemp and Ethier are either  traded in the off season or by the trade deadline in July. Both could  bring back some strong prospects  for  the Dodgers.
      Ethier? The Sox will have their eye on him with Drew  leaving and the fact that he is best  friends with Pedoria  and wants to play for the Sox  does not hurt the Sox’s  chances of either trading for him  or signing  him as a  FA.

      • John DiRienzo 4 years ago

        signing him as a FA? maybe, but that’s doubtful with the contracts we just signed after 2010.

        trading for him is virtually impossible.

        EDIT: misread, thought you were talking about Kemp. i don’t really care for Ethier. sox should focus on the pitching staff.

  4. thegrayrace 4 years ago

    If Ned can accomplish a 6+ year extension for Matt Kemp this off-season, I’d even accept seeing Juan Uribe, A.J. Ellis and Tony Gwynn, Jr. in the Opening Day lineup. There should be no higher priority.

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

      I don’t think this would necessarily be a good deal for the Dodgers, and maybe not even for Kemp. If he can continue to play at this level he’s probably better off in the long run reentering free agency at 29 or 30 rather than 33 or 34.

      • thegrayrace 4 years ago

        If we could lock up Kemp at $20m/year for 6 years, I think it’d be worth it.

        As far as Kemp preferring a shorter deal to hit free agency in his prime… well, it is a possibility, but I kind of doubt it. After a likely MVP season, I think he’ll opt for the security of a long-term deal. His value isn’t likely to get much higher, so there is less incentive from his side to test free agency again in a few years. High risk (possibility he gets injured, etc.), low reward (versus what he could get for those same years right now).

        • BlueSkyLA
          BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

          Or he could be another Adrian Beltre and sign a big, long contract based on a single year of great peformance and never quite live up to it. Beltre might be a great model for the dilemma the Dodgers face.

        • captainjeter 4 years ago

          120 milion ? You’re kidding,  right . He is going to want at least Carl Crawford money ,( 142 million). So, Kemp is  at probably at least  160 -170 million.

  5. Dermick 4 years ago

    I can feel it. He’s gonna be a Cardinal…

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

      And Pujols will become a Dodger. Now we both feel something.

  6. If the Cardinals don’t resign A.P this off-season I could totally see Kemp in a Cardinal uniform. Face it, a 28 year old center fielder who’ll probably be looking for 7-8 years or a 32 year old first baseman who wants 10.

  7. all of these people who “can’t see Kemp signing an extension” are fans of other teams who want him on their team. the guy loves playing in LA and has said he wants to be a Dodger for life. it’s up to the front office now.

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

      True, but one of those front offices belongs to the commissioner.

    • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

      Every player says he wants to be a (insert team) for life. It all comes down to cash. 

      Whatever Colletti and the brass say, I really don’t see The Dodgers having enough money to sign someone like Kemp, particularly after coming off a MVP season.

  8. Quest2b1 4 years ago

    Once McCourt see’s the figures from Kemp’s agent, he will have a heart attack. New ownership quicker than most think possible.

  9. NYPOTENCE 4 years ago

    Does anyone else have a feeling this is going to end up like a Jose Reyes type of situation. I don’t know, I have a feeling the Dodgers want to re-sign him but Kemp is like……****, This club’s headed nowhere, I might as well leave after the year since Andre isn’t coming back. Damn, we don’t even have a farm system

    • thegrayrace 4 years ago

      I doubt it. He’s like royalty in L.A. now. Granted, I’m sure any fanbase would love to have Kemp on their team, but he’s really become the face of the Dodgers franchise at this point, and I get the feeling he enjoys it. He was drafted by the Dodgers and he’s made the team his own. I don’t think he’s at the point in his career where he’s just thinking about getting on a championship team. He’s become friendly with other L.A. sports figures and celebrities and seems attached to the city.

      I’m fairly confident he’d be willing to sign in L.A. long-term and at a reasonable rate. The question is whether McCourt and Colletti will find it reasonable… and how many decades they want to defer the salary.

      • dodgers33dodgers 4 years ago

        i agree…just look at his twitter page…everybody loves and supports him in LA and he definitely enjoys it!!

  10. Jason_F 4 years ago

    As great a season as Kemp just had, to give a player whose cumulative two season fangraphs WAR totals 9.1, with 8.7 of those coming in 2011, a contract like that would be absolute lunacy.  Can Kemp ever really have as good a season as he just did?  For my money, I would bet a resounding no.  He was the second worst CF, by WAR, in 2010 and second best CF in 2011.  If I’m the Dodgers, I resist all temptation to sign Kemp to a long-term this offseason and play out next year.  The spectrum of potential performance is far too wide to be awarding this guy $20+ million/year.

  11. captainjeter 4 years ago

    Dodgers  are in  financial trouble. They can’t  afford to keep Kemp and Ethier. An MVP candiate and you think  that nothing less than 22 million a  year is getting it done?

  12. BruinPirateAnteater 4 years ago

    Since 2007, I have been saying that Matt Kemp was going to be the best player in best baseball. Before the 09 season I predicted that the 09 season would his break out season, and it was. I (incorrectly) predicted that in 2010, he would be the best player in baseball. After his disastrous year, I felt he might be too mentally weak to take on the leader role. When I heard Davey Lopes was hired for 2011, I again said “Kemp is going to the best player in baseball, the Dodgers hired Davey SPECIFICALLY to coach Kemp, and Davey is going to turn all the potential into reality.” And it happened. 

    The point isn’t that I am awesome for predicting this stuff (I’m sure I am not the only one who thought these things), the point is that Kemp always had the physical tools to be the best and all he needed was the right mentor to make it happen. That’s what we saw this season, we saw Kemp playing up to his potential, guided by the right mentor. Lopes is back for 2012, so we can expect Kemp to continue to exceed.

    He may never have a season like this again, but he probably will never have a season like 2010, as long as Lopes is around. Kemp is going to be a .300 30/30 player every season, that is worth the 7-years/$150mill. He’ll be 34-35 when that contract ends. He’ll still be a .300 30/30 hitter then!

  13. captainjeter 4 years ago

    Yankees will take him. Imagine the damage Kemp and Cano  can do together.

  14. John DiRienzo 4 years ago

    hmmm.. Jesus Christ…

    can he pitch?

    -B. Cashman (couldn’t resist)

  15. vtadave 4 years ago

    J. Christ – Can he play, well, anywhere?

    – E. Wade

  16. vtadave 4 years ago

    Yeah because MLB will want the Dodgers to lose their best player?  Won’t happen.

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