Monday, November 14, 2011

Eight-year, $160 million extension for Matt Kemp 'close'

So, a lot of Dodger fans woke up to some great news this morning, first reported by Ken Rosenthal.
"Sources: #Dodgers, Kemp in serious discussions on eight-year, $160M contract. #mlb"
Yes, please -- 160 million times yes, please.

Coming into the off-season, extending Kemp was the No. 1 priority in my off-season plan (as he was for all Dodger fans), and I named it as such.
"Priority No. 1 - Extend Matt Kemp
7 years, $140 million + two team options
13: $12M, 14: $16M, 15: $26M, 16: $24M, 17: $22M, 18: $20M,
19: $20M, 20: $20M ($4M buyout), 21: $20M ($4M buyout)
- This is the Dodgers' priority. Kemp is an unrestricted free agent after the 2012 season and is coming off a near-Triple Crown performance. He's 27 years old and is in the early stages of his prime. He's going to be worth every penny, even if he eventually moves from center field to right field."
It seems I nailed the average annual salary, but the Dodgers are reportedly offering one more year, which is just fine with me. It will be interesting to see the breakdown. I'm sure the contract will be backloaded to compensate for the ownership issues right now.

Kemp is a special talent -- a talent that comes along every generation, if a team is lucky. Getting him locked up before his age-27 season is vitally important. His talent is undeniable. I mean, look what he did this season while having guys like James Loney, Juan Rivera and Juan Uribe protecting him. Then, think if the Dodgers actually get him some legitimate protection in the lineup? The possibilities are limitless.

There are a lot worse ways to spend $20 million -- like giving Uribe $21 million guaranteed (albeit, over three years). Kemp's 2011 season was spectacular and unlike most big-time free agents, the Dodgers are paying him for what he's about to do, not what he's done.

This probably closes the books on Prince Fielder, but I was not expecting he or Albert Pujols to be in L.A. more than three games a season anyway (provided they both stay in the National League).

This is a good day, Dodger fans. This off-season is starting off quite nicely. Let's hope it continues.

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