Kemp, Dodgers On Verge Of Eight-Year Extension

The Dodgers and center fielder Matt Kemp are in serious discussions on an eight-year, $160MM contract, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The Dodgers and Kemp are on the verge of a deal, adds ESPN's Buster Olney.  Such a contract would be the largest in Dodgers history by a long shot, and tied with Manny Ramirez for seventh all-time.

Kemp, 27, is coming off an MVP-caliber season and would be eligible for free agency after the 2012 season.  He projects to earn over $15MM through arbitration, so if Rosenthal's figure proves final Kemp will receive more than $20MM per each of seven free agent seasons.  The Dodgers would essentially be getting Kemp's free agent years for Carl Crawford money.  

It was reported on Thursday that the Dodgers' extension talks with Kemp's agent Dave Stewart had more substance lately.  Earlier this month, owner Frank McCourt agreed to sell the Dodgers.

98 Responses to Kemp, Dodgers On Verge Of Eight-Year Extension Leave a Reply

  1. southernmind 4 years ago

    Yes, please

    • Fritz 4 years ago

      Wow. Way overpaying! Until he is 35. Career: 250-740 bb-k-ratio. .350 OBP. Had just once an OPS above .900. Would be ok to give him 14-15 million on six years, but 160/8. Good luck for the future!

      • thegrayrace 4 years ago

        We’re all aware of Kemp’s strikeout issues, but posting his career numbers when he is so young is misleading. He’s still only had 4 full seasons as a regular starter. He improved dramatically at the plate over the last season; he made significant adjustments to his approach and he’s not likely to revert back to constantly chasing sliders away for strike three.

  2. Very good to hear! He was so exciting to watch put it all together this year. I really hope he finds his way to the MVP if not this year, very soon.

    I was worried the Dodgers might not be able to get it done with all the front office troubles.

  3. Would also be the largest for a CF in MLB history by a long shot. Hope the Dodgers save some money to lock up Kershaw as well.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

      By terms of AAV, I think Wells was higher. He was $18MM under $160MM also, which isn’t a huge gap either, but this still would be the biggest guarenteed contract for a CF.

  4. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    suddenly, regression

    kidding. nice for dodgers fans to get some good news. i think it’s a risk most of them would be happy to take

  5. tom forsnark 4 years ago

    Sweet, get it done Ned

  6. Eduardo Medina 4 years ago

     eight-year, $160MM is a fair contract for Kemp…

    • Very fair. I love this deal for the Dodgers. I look at Kemp and Ellsbury as very similar and dynamic players, and I’d love to keep Jacoby in Boston for 8/$160 if he continues to produce.

      And $160MM as someone pointed out is the biggest contract for a CF in history. Nothing for Kemp to be disappointed about!

      • Amish_willy 4 years ago

        Will Ellsbury 2011 power return going forward? Obviously they both had huge power years in 2011, but unlike Elsbury, what Kemp hit in 2011 wasn’t similar to what he hit in 2008-2010 combined. Think Elsbury would need to maintain the power over then next two years to get that kind of money. Really interested in seeing what Elsbury’s 2012 looks like. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t come close to matching his 2011 power output ever again.

    • sherrilltradedooverexperience 4 years ago

      it’s even more fair for the dodgers.

  7. 55saveslives 4 years ago

    Who pays for it while team is being sold? Mlb?

  8. silverslugger 4 years ago

    The contract will be sushi-incentive-laden.

  9. Ethanator99 4 years ago


  10. grabarkewitz 4 years ago

    I just hope Ned made the first season relatively inexpensive so the Dodgers can make a real offer to Prince.  

  11. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    I hope they get this done.  MLB needs the Dodgers and they shouldn’t be a team that is letting their stars leave.  Kemp is probably my favorite non-Cardinal to watch.  Very good news.

  12. vtadave 4 years ago

    Boy, first Juan Rivera and now Kemp.  Great start to the offseason.

    Kidding on the former of course, but hopefully now onto Kershaw. I don’t hold my breath for Fielder.

  13. darkhoarse820 4 years ago

    Good. Let’s get it finalized before our still current owner changes his mind.

  14. TartanElk 4 years ago

    If this happens, I don’t feel too enthused. If it’s a 5 year deal that’s probably cool. But 8? Yeesh.

    • The_Porcupine 4 years ago

      I’m not sure how I feel about the contract either.  Yes he has enormous talent and last year showed the high level at which he can produce.  But isn’t this the same guy that essentially dogged it 2 years ago?  If he is a prima donna, how committed will he be to live up his contract? 

      I’m not arguing that he shouldn’t get paid and he should get whatever contract he can get.  But if I’m an owner, I’m not sure I’d want to build my team around a head case.  Then again, I also wouldn’t want to be the one who would let such talent slip away either.

      • TartanElk 4 years ago

        Oh, no. I completely agree. He definitely deserves an extension. The way I see it: He has maybe 1 year like last year left in his career. After that, he probably has 3 really good seasons, maybe 1 good one, and likely 3 average ones. That’s only if he plays up to the fullest of his abilities. 

        So why not just give him 5-6 years to ensure – as much as you can – you’re going to get his best seasons and not the blah ones?

        • vtadave 4 years ago

          Why not 5 or 6 years?  Because other teams would offer more if he were available and the Dodgers have to lock him up. Plain and simple.

        • Kyle 4 years ago

          Because he’ll reject it, knowing other teams (Yanks/Boston and a few others) will be willing to pay for 8 years.  It’s the nature of the beast.  A 27-year-old player’s first contract when he’s the best player at his position (in this case by FAR) always – these days – takes him into his mid-30’s. 

        • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

          Because Kemp (and his agent) already know this as well, and they can easily say no to five years and test free agency where someone WILL give 7-8 years for an elite OF under 30.

    • 5 Years doesn’t get the deal done. Kemp would get a longer offer for more money else where.

    • Aaron Haker 4 years ago

      He’s 27… How is that a bad deal?

  15. Joey E 4 years ago

    i can almost officially relax now. i have been worried about the kemp deal all season long. this is big. as a dodger fan seeing guys like Beltre and Piazza go sucked, so the change of pace is great.

    • IdontknowwhyIpostonforums 4 years ago

      I was thinking the exact same thing.  Now if we lock up Kershaw that gives us two solid stars to build around.  The years may be a little much, but it is not bad considering the price and locking him up through his best years.

  16. Shu13 4 years ago

    Personally I think that is HIGH….he has showed that he can lose focus (2010 season)….IF Kemp was to repeat the numbers he had this year (or close to it) then he’d be worthy….BUT w/ his limited track record this is an over pay IMO….

  17. Bob George 4 years ago

    Is Jim Hendry running the Dodgers now? Kemp is coming off a career year and they’re going to guarantee him 20 mil per year for 7 or 8 years? His seaons before 2011 were good, but not $20 mil per year good.

  18. jordan 4 years ago

    Im betting this is what Jacoby will be getting from the Sox or other team Right?

    • That would be amazing work by Scott Boras. Ellsbury is older and in four seasons he’s opened with the big league team, he’s had one good year, one star caliber year, and one injury bomb year. Kemp doesn’t add as much value on defense, but his offensive track record alone makes him a much safer bet.

      • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

        what are you talking about… he won the gold glove!


  19. BravesRed 4 years ago

    Second best news of the offseason behind Braves getting rid of Lowe.

  20. Blue387 4 years ago

    I like the idea of extending Kemp but eight years sounds a lot. This could easily turn into a repeat of the Soriano or Ryan Howard contracts.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Eh, not as likely. With Soriano they signed a 30 year old to a long term deal. Kemp just turned 27. An 8 year deal covers his prime years and terminates around when you’d expect him to begin to diminish.

      • Blue387 4 years ago

        I am skeptical of this deal because I have learned one thing as a Mets fan: expensive long contracts and free agents will break your heart.

  21. ajburnout13 4 years ago

    Matt Kemp deserves Carl Crawford money.  Carl Crawford doesn’t.

  22. disgustipated85 4 years ago

    Thats a pretty big contract for a guy that probably had his career year.  These huge contracts rarely workout.  Hope it does. 

  23. renegadeisback 4 years ago

    This is going to look Vernon Wells’esque in 5 years.

    • Vernon Wells was never as good as Kemp’s last year.

      • Amish_willy 4 years ago

        No kidding. Wells had a 112 OPS+ at the time of his deal, whereas Kemp has a 125 mark. Not to mention Kemp being a force on the bases, 141 sb’s to Wells’ 51 at the time of the deal. Looking at their respective histories leading up to the deal, the Wells one seems unjustifyable whereas with Kemp, he’s had much more consistency on a yearly basis, even with 2010 happening.

        I’m sure Kemp will have some years where he doesn’t earn his paycheck due to injuries or off years, but all in all, think this will turn out well for the Dodgers.

  24. Payaso 4 years ago

    Matt Kemp is the future! and the current!

  25. AndreTheGiantKiller 4 years ago

    As long as it includes Anti-Rihanna incentives as part of the contract, I’m good.

    • vtadave 4 years ago

      Pretty sure there’s a $1 million fine for every Kemp/Rhianna picture that’s posted on TMZ.

  26. Kyle 4 years ago

    Everyone keeps saying Kemp had a “career year,” which is true, but he was only 26 in 2011 (turned 27 in September).  It’s not like he was 31 and suddenly stood out.  Most wonks have been seeing this coming for 6 or 7 years.  He’s still SO young.  The normal plateau for players is 30, and guys built like Kemp produce at a high level for even longer.  This is a fair contract for this market. 

  27. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    I hope he can pull off a 40/40 season. Came so close last year!

  28. What team with $$$ to spend would’nt jump on Kemp? Angels, Boston, Yankees, Cubs… Kemp, by far, would be the top free agent next season! If Crawford signed a 7-year 142 million, why would’nt any other team sign a (5 TOOL) player who’s entering his prime years???

    • DodgerDen 4 years ago

      Exactly and to top it off Carl Crawford was 30 when he signed that deal.

  29. DodgerDen 4 years ago

    Kemp isn’t a 1 year “fluke”.  2 yrs ago he got a shot at a full season and hit .294 26 hr 101 rbi, last year he was distracted with Rihanna and didn’t appreciate the coaches riding him but he still hit .249 28 hr 89 rbi and this past season where he recommitted himself to being the best he exploded .324 39 hr 126 rbi …… the guy is just starting to believe it or not scratch the surface of his potential.

    8 yrs is not a big gamble when the guy just turned 27…. he’s not 30 and starting to figure it out.

    • Amish_willy 4 years ago

      Good for the Dodgers keeping him around. He matched Manny’s deal as the largest contract for an outfielder, and did without being on the free agent market. Figured that was what he and Steward would be shooting for.

    • IdontknowwhyIpostonforums 4 years ago

      Agreed, that 2010 season was such a downer largely because of the expectations.  It wasn’t great, but it certainly wasn’t a “bad” year.  Most teams, (excluding Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Rockies, Pirates, and Phillies) would probably replace their current CF with a 2010 Kemp.  This past season he finally started living up to his talent.  I am not worried about a Soriano type fall off.  Kemp is a better hitter and more consistent than Soriano.

  30. aj7380 4 years ago

    This would be a great move. most CF haven’t come anywhere near these numbers because they are not as physically versatile as Kemp. I view Kemp as this generations Andre Dawson, but thankfully without the year sapping experience of playing on concrete for so long. His physical tools will allow Kemp to move over to RF in 5-7, and LF, if need be, in year 8, which would be his age 35-36 year. Although, once the deal is in place LA should look to use a high draft pick on either high school OF (projectible as a CF) or SS, with a look to whether Dee Gordon could possibly transition to CF in 5-6 years. LA currently does not have an OF prospect who projects as an everyday CF in their system.
    By the by, moving Billingsly to team who misses out on signing one of the free agent pitchers, or trading for James Shield, would open up the necessary relief to sign Kershaw long-term as well.

  31. DodgerDen 4 years ago

    My only fear is Alfonso Soriano but he signed his 8 yr $136M deal at the age of 30!

  32. bmoneyy20 4 years ago

    RHIANNA, prob mvp and 160 million extension- kudos to you matt kemp

  33. slider32 4 years ago

    I feel sorry for teams like the Mets, the Dodgers don’t even have an owner and they make a deal that half the teams in the league couldn’t make. Selig says the Mets are fine and they can’t even make a decent offer to Reyes!

    • DodgerDen 4 years ago

      They don’t want to.

    • Sajju Shah 4 years ago

      because everyone knows Reyes isn’t worth the money. He’ll get a 5 year deal, MAX. 

  34. dieharddodgerfan 4 years ago

    This is a good contract for the Dodgers. Actually, Kemp just turned 27 so an 8 yr extension would actually take him through the age of 34.

    Of course, he could decline, but I would think he would be productive through most of the contract.

  35. Good for him. He deserves it and should stay in Dodger blue for the rest of his career.

  36. Ed Nicholson 4 years ago

    This deal is crazy. Kemp had an awesome 2011, but his OPS has been under .800 in three of his six seasons. Why are the Dodgers paying huge money to Kemp this year? I hope Kemp is not the kind of player who is great one year and then mediocre the next, but he hasn’t shown a lot of consistency in his career. The Dodgers could have waited before they decided to pay that kind of money, especially when the team is about to go up for sale and the team has a need for at least one more big bat. 

  37. I like teams locking up players to nice extensions, it shows that not every player wants to test the market and go to the highest bidder.

    • DodgerDen 4 years ago

      I agree and a big factor is McCourt agreeing to sell the team.  Kemp is not dumb… LA is a huge market, he likes living in LA, and he knows the Dodgers will get a new look with a new owner.  If the Dodgers turn it around guess who will be the toast of the town?

  38. grabarkewitz 4 years ago

    If you are a prospective owner, you would want your best potential assets set in place.  I doubt any new owner would complain about Kemp’s contract.  Now, Uribe’s and Guerrier’s contracts are another story.  

  39. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Why? I seriously doubt whoever is bidding on the Dodgers will change their mind if Kemp is signed long term. Especially if it’s for potentially below expected market price for a guy who’s expected to be highly coveted as a free agent next year.

  40. Shu13 4 years ago

    I’m going to speculate that MLB either already approved them giving an extension to Kemp as part of the “sale agreement” or were given perimeters to follow in giving an extension…..IF a deal wasn’t given to Kemp I believe the value of the team isn’t $1B and w/ the signing does increase the teams assets….

  41. IdontknowwhyIpostonforums 4 years ago

    They don’t have to wait for a new owner, especially since there is no one that has stepped up and is ready to buy.  Sure there are bidders and folks interested, but it is unreasonable to ask them all if it is ok to sign someone or make a move.  The prospective buyers will have to factor into the equation any moves that are made.

    You can’t expect the Dodger’s to do nothing until the team is sold.  They still have to compete next year.

  42. sherrilltradedooverexperience 4 years ago

    i would like to know what makes you upset about this? 

  43. Blue387 4 years ago

    Monopoly money mostly and they throw in the thimble for free.

  44. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    But if they just offer arbitration and he gets close to free agency, he would probably decide to test the market. The Dodger franchise is in better shape with him under contract beyond 2012. That’s why it should be allowed to get done.

  45. dodgers33dodgers 4 years ago

    kemp was going to get around 15mil in arb anyways…so its not like there giving him a whole lot more this year by signing him!! there just keeping him for 7 more years!! wont hurt the sale at all!

  46. David Wright was signed to an extremely team friendly contract while Ryan Howard is being paid 25M until he’s about 38 or something. Not even a close comparison really.

  47. You realize the Ryan Howard contract was signed years ago but doesn’t actually start until 2012, right? It’s a genuinely bad contract.

    Eight years is a lot for Kemp, but it’s better than eight years for a first baseman who’s fat or a first baseman who’s already in his 30s.

  48. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    36 actually.

    But yes, the Howard extension looks worse at the end of this season than it did when he signed it at the beginning of the 2010 season and that’s not even factoring in the injury. Since signing his numbers have decreased.

    Also have to ask the question about the market… if Howard wasn’t signed to an extension would Fielder or Pujols be in the Phillies plan instead?

  49. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    I don’t think anyone would be surprised if there is NOT a new owner in place by Spring Training.  Kemp has already said once baseball starts he is done with all contract talks.  Everyone bad-mouthed the Cardinals for waiting until February last year to negotiate with Pujols. 

     The Dodgers NEED Kemp, this is the best move for the franchise.  MLB should do what is best for the Dodgers and I don’t think anyone could put together a good argument that extending Kemp is not good for the Dodgers.

  50. Kyle 4 years ago

    Kemp can’t “test the market” if he’s signed to an 8-year deal.  What the Dodgers and MLB are doing is INCREASING the value of the Dodgers by signing him to a very fair long-term deal.  Kemp would force the Dodgers to pay MUCH more if he tested the market and had them match or best other team’s offers in a bidding war. 

  51. vtadave 4 years ago

    Yes, I’d feel much better about buying the team knowing that Kemp was locked up long term.

  52. Cubs were still bought with soriano/big z under those contracts.

  53. The process was still silly. Why sign a guy two years ahead of time if you’re not going to get even a slight discount? If he were a free agent this offseason, he wouldn’t get more than that. His slugging percentage the last two years suggests he might be in slight decline already, which evokes another problematic point: How many gigantic, bat-only players age well in their 30s? What if they volunteered $125 million ahead of time for Mo Vaughn?

  54. vtadave 4 years ago

    And you should also realize that his WAR the last two years (1.4 and 1.7) was in James Loney territory. Mix in age and and injury and this contract isn’t exactly looking good.

  55. sherrilltradedooverexperience 4 years ago

    in 3 years they’ll be sitting him against tough lefties once his bat speed slows up a little bit and righty/lefty splits get more and more extreme.  He’ll be traded in a salary dump to go dh before his contract is up.

    but i’m just guessing

  56. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    “I also realize that he hits 35 HR/110+ RBIs every year.”

    A apt description of David Ortiz when he was Howard’s age, but can you name me anyone insane enough to give Ortiz $25 million a year?

    “Tell me in 5 years if it was a bad contract or not.”

    Why wait when we can tell you it’s a bad contract now? The Howard extension was an absolutely awful signing, especially in the context of when it was signed. With Pujols, Fielder AND Gonzalez all scheduled to hit free agency at the same time as Howard, Howard was likely to be the cheapest of the four, now, he’s got a decent shot at being the most expensive of them all, despite being the worst all around baseball player of that group.

  57. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    You don’t think the Yankees would throw over $200MM garaunteed at him if he hits free agency next year?  He can play any outfield spot so any team could fit him in.  The Dodgers need to get this done.

  58. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    1) His OPS+ is down since signing and his WAR has taken a nose dive. And while there isn’t really a stat besides intentional walks to measure this but he just seems like a less feared hitter than he once was.

    2) Which is why I said it wasn’t factoring in the injury. On the numbers alone the Howard extension doesn’t look as good as it did when it was signed.

  59. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    Did the Howard extension ever look good?  I think it got a “huh?” reaction before the ink dried.

  60. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    I am so thankful they signed him to that extension though.  I don’t know if I could handle all the rumors this winter that would of had him coming back home to St. Louis.

  61. No, you can still evaluate process.

  62. Saying Howard is in Loney territory is silly, but so is using RBI as a meaningful evaluation tool. Howard has had some great OBPs batting in front of him during his career. And if you think RBI totals are meaningful, shouldn’t you be worried that Howard’s taken a dip the last two years?

  63. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Kinda depends who you talk to. I think part of the credit it got was for being more money and less years. Add to that he was coming off an MVP caliber year. But yeah, I remember part of the criticism was confusion.

  64. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    It just doesn’t seem like a team friendly that’s absent of any competitive offer. Usually, when a guy signs a deal before he enters free agency, there’s usually some sort of discount being offered. Crawford sort of raised the market for him, but still I think a deal more like Braun is a better example of a “team friendly” deal.

  65. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    That’s $25 mil per (8/$200). No, I don’t think the Yankees would offer that to Kemp. That would be about $100 mil tied up in 4 players for a 4 or 5 year stretch (Arod, CC, Tex and Kemp). 

  66. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    I’m not saying it’s team friendly or he is taking any sort of discount.  I would just say this is about the market price for locking up a guy of his age with his abilities a year away from free agency.  I don’t think it’s an overpay.

  67. grabarkewitz 4 years ago

    Actually, McCourt still owns the Dodgers and the final decision is his.   I would think the only person who might need to sign off on it is the BK trustee.  Right now, the MLB is only an interested creditor regarding the Dodgers.  McCourt could sign Prince, CJ Wilson and whomever else he wants if the trustee feels it is a prudent decision. 

  68. Any potential owner that does not want Matt Kemp in the Dodgers future plans need not apply. Seriously, unless they want to be hated more than Frank McCourt they must be happy about this extension.

  69. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    Yeah, that’s pretty nuts. I can’t feasibly see any team offering Kemp that kind of contract.

    While I’m in the boat that they needed to extend him, this deal is a bit overboard. The offseason JUST started, they had plenty of time to hammer this out. It seems like the Dodgers basically rushed into it without getting any concessions. I really don’t see that Kemp would’ve done much better than this on the open market. The only conceivable way Kemp does better as a free agent is if Granderson drastically regresses and the Yankees decline his option or the Red Sox trade Ellsbury in the next two offseasons.

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