The price of Bison just went up. It has been quite the offseason for Matt Kemp. He won a Gold Glove. He won a Silver Slugger. He is reportedly dating Rihanna. And now it appears he is about to get paid.
Upon hearing that Matt Kemp is close to signing an extension with the Dodgers, my initial reaction was to jump for joy. After all, locking up arguably their best player is a great step toward long-term success. However, as Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin from the Los Angeles Times report, the impending deal is only for two seasons:
Stewart speculated that the Dodgers didn't push to sign Kemp to a longer deal because of their uncertain ownership situation, but made it clear he wasn't told that by anyone with the club.
At the owners' meetings in Arizona today, Dodgers President Dennis Mannion said General Manager Ned Colletti has the freedom to sign Kemp to an even longer deal.
"That's Ned's negotiation to have," Mannion said. "He's got the latitude to come back with any sort of deal he wants."
Kemp is still three years away from free agency, so not only would this deal not buyout any free agent years but would also leave one year of arbitration on the table. Still, it is a step in the right direction, at the very least. For Kemp, he secures his first big payday, providing a new sense of security that could setup a man for the rest of his life. For the Dodgers, I'll assume they are saving a bit of money, lest his arbitration award might rise with a great year in 2010.
The deal isn't done yet, and we don't have any details, but we have some comparable players to draw from, outfielders with similar service time to Kemp (three years). I expanded the list from just center fielders to get a larger pool of players. Stats are through each player's third year
|Player||PA||HR||SB||Runs||RBI||BA/OBP/SLG||OPS+||WAR||Arb 1||Arb 2||Total|
These comps have some caveats: Granderson, Sizemore, and Young all signed their deals a year or two before this point, so their salaries could be adjusted upward; and I spread out Nick Markakis's $2.1 million signing bonus over the six years of his contract. Kemp stacks up well with this group, and it seems clear if he signs a two-year deal, it could and probably should start at $10 million.
It's good to be Matt Kemp right now.