Earlier in the afternoon, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Los Angeles Dodgers were approaching a contract extension for the likely National League MVP, Matt Kemp, who was scheduled to be a free agent after the 2012 season. Now from Jon Heyman, we have confirmation:
kemp & dodgers are in agreement, pending physical. @Ken_Rosenthal reported $160M for 8 yrs. good deal for all
Kemp had his best year by far both by traditional statistics (HR, RBI, AVG) and newfangled stats (WAR, OPS+), and he also won the second Gold Glove of his career, so it was an open question how much he could pry from the Dodgers before testing the open market. Turns out that $20 million per year was the magic number.
The Dodgers have been in a financial morass for most of the season, with Bud Selig and MLB taking over control of the team's finances, so news of the extension is a little surprising. With the team up for sale, though, it was probably more likely that Kemp was viewed as a star that would help the franchise's value rather than an expense that devalues it.