Matt Kemp is about to get paid.
During the hot stove season, the rumor mill is constantly churning and it is important not to get too excited one way or another. That said, it's impossible for Dodgers fans to not see this news and not be ecstatic. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:
Sources: #Dodgers, Kemp in serious discussions on eight-year, $160M contract. #mlb
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports chimed in as well:
Confirming @Ken_Rosenthal get, the Dodgers and Kemp are getting close. 8 years and $160m is about right.
Kemp has one more year of arbitration remaining, and is in line to more than double his $7.1 million 2011 salary after his MVP-caliber season. MLB Trade Rumors, for instance, predicted Kemp would get $16.3 million in arbitration, which means in addition to that Kemp would basically getting somewhere close to the Carl Crawford contract (seven years, $142 million).
There is always risk involved with any type of a long-term deal, and we only need to look back at Kemp's 2010 season to see the potential downside of such a deal. But considering the Dodgers have very rarely kept their own developed talent beyond their arbitration years in the last two decades, it would be a refreshing change of pace.