Los Angeles Dodgers & Matt Kemp Announce 8 Year/$160 Million Extension + Analysis

Earlier today, the Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced an 8 year extension with outfielder Matt Kemp for 160 million dollars. The contract had been announced by sources a few days ago, but wasn’t officially confirmed until now.

I previously looked at the reported terms and came to the conclusion that it was a solid deal, if not a discount for the Dodgers.

As a fan, it’s hard not to be happy about the deal, but there’s still an analytical side that needs to come into play. As such, here’s the breakdown of the contract with WAR and Value projections.

I gave Matt Kemp a baseline of .300/.375/.525/.900 with a wOBA of .385. Accounting for the fact that it’s a considerable regression from .324/.399/.586/.986 and a .419 wOBA in 2011, I don’t think I’m unrealistic in projecting these offensive totals.

As for his defensive metrics, he’s been about -6 runs over ~5100 innings in center field according to DRS and about -16 runs over the same span according to FRAA. Over a full season, it averages out to a range between -2.5 and -3.5.

Overall, the full breakdown is 33 offense, 3.5 baserunning, -3 defense, 22.5 replacement, and 2.5 position.

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It was hard to find a baseline for Matt Kemp because his 2010 completely throws a wrench into his development trend. However, I did my best to be realistic.

The WAR regression was done by assuming Kemp maintains his baseline production from ages 27-29, starts to fall off gradually every year from 30-32, and starts declining from 33-34.

While it’s easy to run with the assumption that Kemp will continue to be an 8 win player and use that as a baseline, the prudent thing to do was account for a solid amount of regression and start there. Even with that factored in though, Kemp’s extension should be a good deal for the Dodgers, especially considering that it’s harder to attain surplus value from elitely paid players and that surplus value from elite players is of far greater value when compared to the same from average or mediocre ones.

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