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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
kidding. nice for dodgers fans to get some good news. i think it’s a risk most of them would be happy to take
Sweet, get it done Ned
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!
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.
it’s even more fair for the dodgers.
Who pays for it while team is being sold? Mlb?
The contract will be sushi-incentive-laden.
I just hope Ned made the first season relatively inexpensive so the Dodgers can make a real offer to Prince.
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.
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.
Good. Let’s get it finalized before our still current owner changes his mind.
If this happens, I don’t feel too enthused. If it’s a 5 year deal that’s probably cool. But 8? Yeesh.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
He’s 27… How is that a bad deal?
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.
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.
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….
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.
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
what are you talking about… he won the gold glove!
Second best news of the offseason behind Braves getting rid of Lowe.
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.
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.
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.
Glad Kemp wasnt a free agent then!
Matt Kemp deserves Carl Crawford money. Carl Crawford doesn’t.
Thats a pretty big contract for a guy that probably had his career year. These huge contracts rarely workout. Hope it does.
This is going to look Vernon Wells’esque in 5 years.
Vernon Wells was never as good as Kemp’s last year.
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.
Matt Kemp is the future! and the current!
As long as it includes Anti-Rihanna incentives as part of the contract, I’m good.
Pretty sure there’s a $1 million fine for every Kemp/Rhianna picture that’s posted on TMZ.
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.
East Coast Bias
I hope he can pull off a 40/40 season. Came so close last year!
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???
Exactly and to top it off Carl Crawford was 30 when he signed that deal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My only fear is Alfonso Soriano but he signed his 8 yr $136M deal at the age of 30!
RHIANNA, prob mvp and 160 million extension- kudos to you matt kemp
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!
They don’t want to.
because everyone knows Reyes isn’t worth the money. He’ll get a 5 year deal, MAX.
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.
Good for him. He deserves it and should stay in Dodger blue for the rest of his career.
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.
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.
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?