Dodgers Ink Kemp, Billingsley, Avoid Arbitration

Ken Gurnick of MLB.com has reported on the signings of two arbitration eligible Dodgers, Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley.  Billingsley signed a one-year, $3.85 million deal, and Kemp signed for two seasons at "almost $11 million."  Regarding Kemp, Gurnick reported that the agreement is preliminary pending a physical.  I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Kemp passes that exam.

Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reports that Kemp's deal is for $10.95 million, including $4 million in 2010.  Tony Jackson of ESPN.com adds that Kemp's $6.95 million salary in 2011 also has "up to $600,000 in bonuses based on his 2010 plate appearances."

Kemp and Billingsley were each arbitration eligible for the first time this season, and are arbitration eligible through 2012.  Kemp made $467,000 last year, and Billingsley made $475,000.  This is a big day for Dodger draftees, as Chad Billingsley (1st round) and Matt Kemp (6th round) were both drafted in 2003, and their agent, former pitcher Dave Stewart, was drafted by the Dodgers in the 16th round in 1975.

Jackson noted that Billingsley's negotiations may not be over:

Stewart said he might continue to negotiate with Dodgers officials on getting an additional year for Billingsley, buying him out of arbitration next winter as well. But Stewart added that those negotiations won't continue beyond the end of spring training.

The Dodgers still have six more players eligible for arbitration: Andre Ethier, Jonathan Broxton, James Loney, Russell Martin, George Sherrill, and Hong-Chih Kuo.  If deals can't be reached by Tuesday, both club and player will submit salary figures for a potential February arbitration hearing.

Previously: The Matt Kemp Offseason Extravaganza Continues, and A Look at Billingsley & His Peers

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