The Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday made official their eight-year, $160 million contract extension with center fielder Matt Kemp. The 27-year old signed the largest deal in club history, and the largest contract in National League history.
Kemp had one more year of arbitration eligibility left before hitting free agency, and was due to more than double his 2011 salary of $7.1 million in 2012. Under his new contract, Kemp will make $10 million in 2012, with the following breakdown from Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
- $2 million signing bonus
- 2012: $10 million (of which $2 million is deferred without interest)
- 2013: $20 million
- 2014: $21 million
- 2015: $21 million
- 2016: $21.5 million
- 2017: $21.5 million
- 2018: $21.5 million
- 2019: $21.5 million
The Dodgers currently have seven players signed for 2012 for a total of $50.25 million. Including expected arbitration raises and deferred salary, the Dodgers' 2012 payroll is estimated to be roughly $106.5 million.
Kemp had an MVP-caliber season in 2011, hitting .324/.399/.586 and leading the league in home runs (39), runs batted in (126), runs scored (115), total bases (353), and adjusted OPS+ (171). Kemp also stole 40 bases, tied for second in the league, making him the first player to finish in the top two in the league in both home runs and stolen bases since Hank Aaron in 1963.
The National League MVP will be announced on Tuesday, November 22.
"Matt is a very good player right now, but very, very close to that line of great player," Kemp's agent Dave Stewart told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. "I think that the Dodgers have the same vision that I do for Matt."
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