Moments ago, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports mentioned on Twitter that Matt Kemp and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in “serious discussions” on an 8 year/160 million dollar extension that would lock him up through his age 34 season. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports later confirmed the story.
Kemp is set to be a free agent after 2012, so he’s close to market value in arbitration already, and any price can be compared with a free agent offer for all intents and purposes. Considering that teams usually pay a premium for elite level talent and that Kemp was worth over 40 million on the field last year, 20 million annually seems to be a bit of a discount. Despite all his talk on Twitter about wanting to remain in Los Angeles, I figured it was just a player talking it up to fans, but it seems as if he does want to stay with the Dodgers, as I think he could easily fetch more money in 2012.
Of course, there’s always the risk that Kemp fails to live up to 2011, and I think asking for a repeat of that performance would be difficult for anybody, but all he really needs to do is come close and 20 million per for an elite level player will be looked at as a bargain.