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Dodgers Finalize Matt Kemp Contract; Film At 11

It's official, or at least will be at 11 a.m. PST when the Dodgers hold a press conference at Dodger Stadium. Matt Kemp will be with the Dodgers through 2019. The All-Star center fielder on Friday finalized his eight-year, $160 million contract extension with the club, the largest contract in National League history.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times has the breakdown:

$2 million signing bonus
2012: $10 million (of which $2 million is deferred without interest until 2013)
2013: $20 million (plus $2 million deferred from 2012)
2014: $21 million
2015: $21 million
2016: $21.5 million
2017: $21.5 million
2018: $21.5 million
2019: $21.5 million

Kemp sits high atop the list of Dodgers contracts in total value:

  • Kemp: eight years, $160 million (2012-2019)
  • Kevin Brown: seven years, $105 million (1999-2005)
  • Shawn Green: six years, $84 million (2000-2005)
  • Darren Dreifort: five years, $55 million (2001-2005)
  • J.D. Drew: five years, $55 million (2005-2009; included player opt out after two years)
  • Jason Schmidt: three years, $47 million (2007-2009)
  • Manny Ramirez: two years, $45 million (2009-2010; second year was a player option)
  • Juan Pierre: five years, $44 million (2007-2011)
  • Rafael Furcal: three years, $39 million (2006-2008)
  • Andruw Jones: two years, $36.2 million (2008-2009)

With reports this week that the Dodgers payroll is expected to be less in 2012 than it was in 2011, the structuring of Kemp's contract plays a large role in determining what free agent starting pitcher will be brought in. The payroll last year ended up at just under $115 million, not too far off the $113 million on opening day. With Kemp getting $10 million next year, far less than he would have received through arbitration, the 2012 payroll is estimated at $106.5 million. It gives the team more flexibility than they would have had, but doesn't leave a lot of room to bring back Hiroki Kuroda, unless a large chunk of his salary is deferred.