Kemp, Dodgers Sign Eight-Year Extension

Dodgers fans are looking forward to new ownership next season, and now they have certainty about their cornerstone center fielder.  The Dodgers and Matt Kemp signed an eight-year, $160MM extension today, which ties for the seventh-richest contract in MLB history.  

Kemp obtains a $2MM signing bonus and earns a $10MM salary in 2012, according to Dylan Hernandez and Mike Hiserman of the LA Times.  $2MM of Kemp's '12 salary is deferred without interest, so the Dodgers only take an $8MM payroll hit next year. The deal does not include a full no-trade clause, according to Jim Peltz of the LA Times.

Kemp

Kemp, 27, did not want to discuss an extension once his 2012 contract year began.  He might have earned $15MM+ through arbitration for '12, so the new deal buys out seven free agent seasons at more than $20MM each.  At $160MM, Kemp ties Manny Ramirez's free agent contract from 11 years ago as the seventh-largest in MLB history, for now.  Prior to Kemp, the biggest contract in Dodgers history was Kevin Brown's $105MM deal in December of '98.  Kemp is represented by former pitcher Dave Stewart.  

Kemp is expected to finish highly in the NL MVP voting later this month after breaking out with a .324/.399/.586 line and 39 home runs in 689 plate appearances this year.  Outside of 2010, UZR has shown Kemp to be roughly an average defender in center field.

Earlier this month, owner Frank McCourt agreed to sell the Dodgers.  GM Ned Colletti was able to lay the groundwork for the Kemp deal despite the uncertainty surrounding the team when McCourt appeared headed for a bankruptcy trial.

With Kemp off the board, here's a look at those eligible for free agency after the 2012 season.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports broke the story, with SI's Jon Heyman tweeting news of the agreement.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


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87 Comments on "Kemp, Dodgers Sign Eight-Year Extension"


Ben_Cherington
3 years 9 months ago

But we were gonna trade for him:(

Great price if he can repeat this production, but risky since he might revert back to 2010!  Good luck Matt and congrats Dodger fans!

Edit: My new prediction: Kemp will be next Ryan Braun, for the next 3 yrs he will have his contract extended 5 yrs each year, thus having a 23 yr contract!

Gumby65
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t think, barring any serious injury, you will see the “lost” Kemp of 2010.  In 2011, you saw his potential coming into fruition, and his true character has shown as well.  The REAL Matt Kemp has stood up.

3 years 9 months ago

As the opposing team, I wish he’d sit down.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 9 months ago

I sure hope you’re right, but we have seen players slack off after a big payday. That, and sometimes the pressure to perform at an expected level leads to choke city. Management must have confidence in Kemp’s maturity being developed enough to deal with either possibility. We as fans can’t make any judgement because we don’t really know the man.

3 years 9 months ago

Kemp is already a better fielder that Braun has ever been. If Colletti didn’t mess up Kemps head in 2010 he would have done a lot better. Colletti is like sand in engine oil, bad news, worse GM in Baseball.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 9 months ago

Damn. I expected this to drag out a few more weeks. Congrats Kemp and Dodgers fans. Even at $20M a year this could be a potentially great move by the Dodgers.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Wasn’t there just a story the other day where the Dodgers where told NOT to hand out any large contracts? Not saying I disagree with the signing, it just doesn’t seem feasible at this time. Plus doing something like this after a career year is questionable. Let’s hope Kemp keeps it going.

Ben_Cherington
3 years 9 months ago

I hate when I agree with you. 

Sajju Shah
3 years 9 months ago

they were told not to sign any marquee FA’s such as Fielder or Pujols. Kemp is excluded since he is currently with the team. 

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

It just seems to contradict the real reason why that statement was made. Understandable they want to retain their own talent.  

Sajju Shah
3 years 9 months ago

I concur…however I think it was a sign to Dodgers brass to not even think about speaking to Fielder or Pujols without locking up Matty first. 

3 years 9 months ago

keeping Kemp helps the value of the club. With him we are an average team who is a piece, or three, away from the playoffs. Without him we are the Pirates with better pitching.

Ben_Cherington
3 years 9 months ago

or five

Ben_Cherington
3 years 9 months ago

or seven

Ben_Cherington
3 years 9 months ago

Stop talking to me!

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Sure it adds value, but at what cost. It just makes things a bit more lopsided in a sale. You now have a large portion of revenues being spent in one place. The more I think about it, the less I like this signing. Not because of Kemp, but because of the place the Dodgers are in right now. 

neoncactus
3 years 9 months ago

Kemp is an asset because the team is getting his services.  I think it helps the value instead of hurting it.  If you’re a potential owner, you know that your best hitter is locked up for the next eight years and the contract is pretty much market value.  I think the value would be hurt if a new owner knew coming in he was facing a bidding war with the Yankees and who knows how many other teams for Kemp after next season. 

And if a potential owner has a problem paying Kemp that money over the next several years, then they shouldn’t be owner of the Dodgers.

3 years 9 months ago

? Kemp was gonna get 16 million this season anyways, they haven’t really committed more money to the  2012 payroll

3 years 9 months ago

Only in big business can you “Finance a mansion while waiting on your Bankruptcy trial”.

vtadave
3 years 9 months ago

It would have been much more questionable for the Dodgers to have let him go.

Drew Tweedie
3 years 9 months ago

Good job Dodger brass. Kemp’s an exciting player to watch and an infuriating player to cheer against.

Rick Garcia
3 years 9 months ago

Great job by the front office here. 

HolaAmigas
3 years 9 months ago

Eight years? Holy crap! They need to extend Kershaw as well.

LiveFastCyYoung
3 years 9 months ago

Vernon Wells Part Deux?

3 years 9 months ago

Vernon Wells never even sniffed 20 SB’s in his life…

whitesoxfan424
3 years 9 months ago

Depending on your definition of “sniffed”, 17 is pretty close.

I worry he goes back to some mixture of 2009/2010… which isn’t bad, but not $20MM worth.

0bsessions
3 years 9 months ago

My definition of “sniffed,” the literal one, ended with a very creepy mental image for me.

$1639238
3 years 9 months ago

Vernon Wells’ best season: 132 OPS+, 6.7 WAR
Matt Kemp’s 2011: 171 OPS+, 10 WAR

That being said, it does seem a bit of a risk for a guy who’s had 1 truly great season.  On the other hand, it Kemp keeps playing at the ungodly MVP-deserving level he did in 2011, this deal is pretty great.

Mikey Roederer
3 years 9 months ago

I was more thinking along the lines of Alfonso Soriano…can anyone throw up stats from Soriano’s 40/40 season compared to Kemps ’11 season?? Im at work and cant…

IdontknowwhyIpostonforums
3 years 9 months ago

HR/RBI/SB/OBP/OPS/OPS+

Kemp 39/126/40/.399/.986/171
Soriano 46/95/41/.351/.911/135
Kemp had a slight edge in strikeouts 159/160 and BB 74/67.  Kemp has 20+ more hits.  Sorry I don’t have more advanced stats, I too am at work and this is coming off my phone.  I will try to post them later.

But a cursory glance shows many similarities.  However, Soriano was 30 at the time he had his big season, whereas Kemp is only 26.  There may yet be bigger things in Kemp’s future.

CAD_Monkey
3 years 9 months ago

Matty Kempmas Los Angeles!

Triple Hawpes Brewed
3 years 9 months ago

You’re trying too hard

OldStyle_NewCubs
3 years 9 months ago

Increases the value of the franchise. MLB worked pretty quick on this one. 

Bobby P
3 years 9 months ago

Kind of what I was thinking too. I mean, it looks like it might be $1 billion for the Dodgers. It certainly wouldn’t be if you gave up your best player.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

In a way, you’re correct and it is a bit sleezy of McCourt (synonymous) to do this. Bulk up the valuation prior to sale. The question is, would the new purchaser have handed out the same contract? Its like when you go look at houses and the broker says, the seller just did a gut renovation and you walk in and the kitchen and bath, while new, are ugly and not your style. So now you’re paying a 30% premium for someone else’s renovations that you don’t like and will have to redo. Only reason you proceed with the sale is because you like the location. Meanwhile the bank appraises the house for 20% under contract price. All things considered, this seems exactly like the type of exit move McCourt would make. You can find a sucker for a $300k house, but at $1 billion, you’d think buyers would be a little more savy. My point is, I wonder if this signing will turn prospective purchasers away.

3 years 9 months ago

you also don’t need to buy the house…

Bobby P
3 years 9 months ago

Good point. I think this move will certainly have its detractors, which might even include prospective buyers.

However, Matt Kemp is a quality ballplayer and at 8-years/$160M, it’s also kind of market friendly. $20M/year is a lot of money, sure, but assuming he doesn’t regress, it’s probably worth it. Then again, you are absolutely right in that it’s a questionable move given that you’re now stuck with Kemp. And by adding something that made Jim Hendry famous, namely the no-trade clause, you also further limit what the new owner can do.

I don’t see why many owners wouldn’t want Matt Kemp at a slightly below market value contract, but then again, you never know. Maybe the new owner wanted to spend that money on Kershaw for example. Personally, I don’t think it’s wise to be signing huge contracts like these without an owner, but that’s just me.

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

Exactly. The Dodgers were already as valuable as they could be before these commitments. I mean, it’s the freaking Dodgers. Whoever is advising on these moves I think is making a big mistake. I am not saying Kemp is a mistake. I agree he is currently a top 10 player in the league and based on valuations of his peers, $20mm per does make sense. The question is, would the new owner have made these same moves, hence my house/reno comparison. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve went to look at a property, loved the outside, the location, only to get inside and see finishes and realize I have no interest in placing a bid for something that is marked 30% higher than the house down the street just because this one has the “best kitchen” which is purple and of no interest to me. 

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 9 months ago

I used a similar analogy in another thread so I can’t object to it on principle, but I think you might be taking it too far. Kemp is the kind of player who makes the turnstiles click. He was the one player the Dodgers needed to deal with this offseason in order to show fans that the team has a future.

OldStyle_NewCubs
3 years 9 months ago

While i still stand by my original statement that this transaction will ultimately increase the value of the organization (aside from his baseball skills, he’s a very marketable commodity in LA), i agree that some prospective owners will not look kindly on how this was handled. The Cubs signed Zambrano and Soriano during the sale process to boost value and look how that played out for the new owner. 

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 9 months ago

Because the players bombed out. The first thing they did was make Soriano change positions, and the Cubs continued to be the Cubs.

Gumby65
3 years 9 months ago

Frank-n-Ned contract details:
Years 1-7: $15 annual
Year 8: $159,999,895

Ben_Cherington
3 years 9 months ago

Yr 8:  File bankruptcy again and avoid luxury tax!

Bob George
3 years 9 months ago

Career .352 Babip. When that comes back to reality his value drops like a rock.

vtadave
3 years 9 months ago

Right. Let’s just ignore the fact that some players have shown the ability to sustain above-average BABIPs. Never mind that fact that his BB% was up nearly 3 full points or that his line-drive rate went way up, or that he hit fewer ground balls…

OldStyle_NewCubs
3 years 9 months ago

3,100+ plate appearances tend to disagree with you. Of course, as he slows during the second half of his contract it will decrease accordingly. But, if he keeps hitting LD’s the way he has been, i’m sure he’ll be ok. (Votto also has a .352 BABIP – i’m guessing he’s due for a major regression as well?) 

mookie_and_doc
3 years 9 months ago

His career BABIP is exactly that.  A career BABIP.  He’s been in the league long enough to believe that he will maintain it because of his ability to square-up and barrel the ball consistently.  This leads to a higher Line-drive percentage which, in turn, will lead to a higher overall BABIP.  If this, like you’re suggesting, wasn’t the case, then every MLB player’s career BABIP would be exactly the same.

3 years 9 months ago

Guess who rounds out the top 10 for the highest BAbip from the years 2006-2011:
1) A-Jax
2) Votto
3) Kemp
4) Jeter
5) Ichiro
6) Holliday
7) Miggy
8) Mauer
9) Castro
10) Michael Young

With guys like Wright, Hamilton, Braun and Han-Ram right outside that top 10.  Yeah, BAbip means nothing at all when it comes to guys who have proven they can square up the ball.  And most of these guys, have really high career LD% as well.  That naturally inflates their BAbip.  And most of these guys (A-Jax being the exception) have developed, or are developing, good plate discipline.

Rcsully
3 years 9 months ago

Good signing, but it amazes me that MLB would allow the Dodgers lay out this type of scratch while the team is up for sale.

vtadave
3 years 9 months ago

Not that surprising really.  If I had a billion laying around, I’d be much more comfortable buying the team knowing that Kemp was going to be there for awhile.  I think MLB recognized this and encouraged the contract to go through.

bayareabeast
3 years 9 months ago

i think i would have tried to lock kershaw up first but good move by the dodgers, im gunna hate seeing this guy in the west for the next 8yrs

mookie_and_doc
3 years 9 months ago

This is great news for the Dodgers and their fans.  As a Met fan, I’m a little upset that Alderson won’t be able to do the same with the existing stars on the roster but, that being said, the Mets don’t have anyone close to Kemp currently on the roster.

If they follow suit with Kershaw, what kind of money would it take?  Thoughts? 

3 years 9 months ago

Kershaw is better to do now as he is under team control longer and you tend to get a discounted rate in the sense that guaranteed money means more when you are younger.  He’s in first year of arbitration and Dodgers are the only team that can give him a big money long term deal.  Braun signed way under value, Wright also, jsut as teams got them paid early on.  Kemp was going to get record money next offseason.

vtadave
3 years 9 months ago

Probably something like 6/105 for Kershaw.  $45 million for three arbitration years and $20 million a year for the three following.

neurogame
3 years 9 months ago

I like the fact that a star player has the chance to only wear one uniform, especially one that was developed within the farm system. 

I wonder if there is a “no trade” clause involved?  I know that eventually he’ll have 10 and 5 rights so maybe that aspect is moot.

I’m a little confused as to how Frank can utilize money he may not have.  He’s involved in so much controversy.

Now what will it take to lock up Kershaw?  This is going to be expensive!  Hopefully the Dodgers can get enough role players involved or develop another star to complement Kemp.  They’re competitive but not competitive enough to get to the World Series.

New Management better have deep pockets!

lakersdodgersyankees4life
3 years 9 months ago

heyman said theres a full no trade clause 

JimBaily
3 years 9 months ago

Has an 8 year contract ever worked out for the team?

3 years 9 months ago

Manny, Jeter, and Cabrera(so far). Arod lived up to his contract but the Rangers just couldn’t afford him.

Twinkilling61
3 years 9 months ago

Hmm last time I saw an 8 year deal worth 20+ million a year given out a year before they hit free agency was the Mauer deal. That’s not working out so well right now.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
3 years 9 months ago

catcher and CF. Completely different positions. Much riskier to give a big contract to a catcher. They take a beating on every pitch

vtadave
3 years 9 months ago

Manny’s 8/160 deal with the Red Sox worked out pretty well. Solid production for most of the 8 before…well, we know how that ended.

Casor_Greener
3 years 9 months ago

Kemp doesn’t have the benefit of steroids

3 years 9 months ago

Mauer plays a much more demanding position (physically on his body) meaning that that contract will bite the Twinkies in the bum when he can’t play C any more and they are paying him 20 million to DH.  Furthermore, they did that contract based off of one year when he displayed power, which is an anomaly in his career.  Whereas Matt Kemp has displayed this 30/30 potential all throughout his career and just needed to “put it all together”.  Mauer on the other hand is a regular guarantee for a .320 AVG, but only 10-12 HR tops (especially in that new park).  There is absolutely no comparison other than each will be the face of their franchise.

Sorry this comment was directed at someone above…don’t know why it posted all the way at the bottom.

Twinkilling61
3 years 9 months ago

Centerfield is not as demanding as catcher, but it’s still taxing. That’s why Hamilton doesn’t play there everyday anymore. Also, Kemp’s season this year was still outside of his norm just like Mauer’s was in 2009. In fact i felt more comfortable giving Mauer a big contract (although not that big), because his worst season wasn’t nearly as bad as Kemp’s worst season and Kemp’s worst season was more recent. My comparison was not perfect, but it’s not irrelevant. I’d rather see Kemp do it 2 years in a row before I pay him this much. Just like I would have rather seen Mauer do it two years in a row, before he got paid. 

3 years 9 months ago

Mauer has posted ONE year with more than 15 HR: 2009.  The closest he has ever been to that was in 2006 at 13 HR.  Beyond that he hasn’t even topped 10 HR ever again in his career.  Yes, as I said, he is good for that .320+ AVG, and he does have top-notch defense, but the simple fact is that he has now been battling knee issues for the last two years, and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better.  Everyone knows catcher is by far the most demanding position, with SS following that, and CF shortly thereafter.  But you can clearly see that CF’ers have much more longevity in their careers than catchers.  Durable catchers, that put up great numbers over the course of their career are a rare breed indeed. And did you also realize that Mauer has never topped 100 RBI’s? Matt Kemp has indeed done that once, but the progression as he has gotten more AB’s and as he has seen more time in the 3-hole to culminate in a 115 RBI 2011. Furthermore, he has scored 100+ runs before, stolen 30+ bags twice before, and hit 25+ HR twice before. The metrics are all indicating towards what happened in 2011. 2010 was a horrible year mainly because of his horrible fielding display. Sure the AVG took a huge nosedive, but his other stats, save the horrible SB% were quite good for a “down year”.

Matt Kemp’s 2011 wasn’t an anomaly at all.  In fact, it was exactly what everyone has been expecting of him.  To expect even a yearly stat line of 25/25, with a .300 AVG and 100 RBI’s and 90 runs isn’t expecting that much at all, and is even a slight regression from his 2011 season on a team that struggling offensively for most of the season.  Even at that, Matt Kemp is still worth this contract.  And you ask for two years in a row?  Take away 2010, and you have 2009 where he went 26/34 with a .297 AVG, 2008 where he went 18/35 with a .290 AVG, and 2007 where he went 10/10 with a .342 AVG (in 98 games).  Go beyond even that and he has averaged over 155 games every year since he has become our full-time centerfielder.  Mauer on the other hand has averaged under 140, and appears to be due for split time at DH and C – which diminishes his value greatly, as much of his WAR value is wrapped up in his defensive abilities at C.  Matt Kemp by every metric is expected to repeat a 30/30 season, and is just entering his prime.  To expect perennial 30/30 or even 25/30 seasons isn’t out of the question at all, and couple that with a regular .300 AVG while driving in and scoring close to, if not more than 100 runs – I’ll take that.

And I think the comparison is moot and does not make sense.  Sorry for the long-winded response, but you could make the argument that Mauer’s 2009 power spike was easily a fluke (ridiculously high HR/FB rate, increased FB%, contract year, etc) but to call Matt Kemp’s 2011 an oddity, and warrants a comparison to Mauer isn’t logical.  All signs were pointing towards Kemp becoming a regular 30/30, possibly even 40/40 guy, with a good AVG.

Twinkilling61
3 years 9 months ago

Well if you want to play the expected game. You could say that scouts have said that Mauer was supposed to hit 30+ homeruns every year. Plus he still had 43 doubles in 2010 so his power didn’t completely disappear. Also don’t use RBIs, because he bats second and third a lot. Also, I’m not saying the Mauer contract was good, but Matt Kemp had a bad year last year so how do you know that he won’t regress back to that? Also, you can’t say without 2010 to make the argument two years in a row! That defeats the purpose of saying two years in a row. And the injury thing is absolutely true about Mauer, but that comes with the territory. I would have liked the Mauer deal if he would have signed for less than market value, but he didn’t and that is where the Twins made their mistake. The Twins could have gotten into a bidding war and still paid the same amount as now. I’m just worried that the Dodgers are making the exact same mistake. They’re extending him, but at the wrong time. They should see if he replicates the same kind of year as 2011 and if he does they sign him to market value which might be a little more than now, but if he has a worse year than 2011, then you can extend him for less money.

3 years 9 months ago

And Hamilton doesn’t play CF anymore because his body is literally scarred and ravaged from his drug and alcohol abuse!  Hamilton is a completely different case altogether.  There are far more CF’ers that have career-long longevity than catchers.  What’s more is that even if they cannot play in CF anymore, they can shift to left-field where their glove still has value.  Whereas many catchers are either forced to go to a backup role or DH full-time (see Jorge Posada, Jason Varitek) where any defensive contribution is null.

3 years 9 months ago

do what? you felt more comfortable giving mauer that contract but not kemp? sure mauer can’t even catch anymore and given the fact that hits less HR’s then rod barajas it makes perfect sense then. kemp has a 6yr average of 30hr’s, 100rbi’s, 30 SB’s and  .300 BA but thats no enough to warrant signing him to a huge contract? a little expensive yeah but he’s one of the best hitters in the game now and will be unlike mauer who can only hit for average and doesnt even have a true position anymore.

man i guarantee that over 90% of MLB players would love to have matt’s “down year.” Can the same be said for mauer? i think not.

3 years 9 months ago

The dodgers screwed up by not signing kemp sooner. we knew after he first broke in with the team he was gonna be great, even last year we should’ve attempted to extend him at a discounted price. we waited too long for this deal to keep one of the best young players from hitting the open market.

Im glad Kemp will stay in LA now its time to Lock up kershaw for 10 years because he’s gonna be the best pitcher in MLB for years to come. 

Kevin Doan
3 years 9 months ago

haha shoulda extended him after 2010 season xD i know it’s impractical and illogical  but think about it. it would have been only 13-16 million a year for the period of the contract imagine that! *drools* oh well a guy can dream

3 years 9 months ago

haha it makes sense i mean we all knew after what he did in ’09 and for what most if not all consider a down year when you go 30HR/20SB. look at what tampa did with Longo i mean the guy wasn’t even a pro but what a week and they locked him up for 6yrs at only 17.5mil should’ve would’ve could’ve.

Shu13
3 years 9 months ago

Frank needed him extended this off season so he could justify the $1B asking price for the club….and to extend him after his ’10 season would have been nutz….Ned was on 710am a few minutes ago and he said that he and Kemp had a 1on1 closed door man2man talk last season about 2/3 of teh way thru and it was all based on expectations….Ned told Kemp….”there is NOTHING that can be done about results BUT there better be something adjusted to effort….thats all I can ask….give the effort and the skills you have will deliver the results”…w/o saying it on the radio it sounded like he was admitting that Kemp was distracted by Rhiana despite all the reports to the contrary…this was the most I’ve heard anyone say since his mom said the same thing…

Dodgerbluez
3 years 9 months ago

would have probably have been the standard Dodgers 3 year deal. Im glad we waited now hes ours for 8 years.. Kemp will bring fans back to the park.

Shu13
3 years 9 months ago

New owners will bring the fans back…not Kemp