Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp nears monster contract extension

Amid financial questions, Dodgers will ink Matt Kemp to record contract

11/14/11 in MLB   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Matt Kemp, the Los Angeles outfielder that flirted with baseball's triple crown in 2011, will remain in Dodger blue for years to come. The Dodgers, who were facing bankruptcy until owner Frank McCourt agreed to sell the team a few weeks ago, will ink the athletic center fielder to an eight-year, $160 million extension.

The Dodgers had Kemp under control through next season, but rather than allow him to hit the open market, they locked down their 27-year-old star. 

The deal will be the largest doled out in the franchise's illustrious history. Kemp finished third in the National League in batting average (.324) this past season and led the league in homers (39) runs batted in (126) and runs scored (115). 

Few questioned Kemp's ability when he entered the league, but some wondered about his work ethic. His 2011 performance quieted a lot of critics. 

What is more surprising is that the team was able to make such a large money commitment prior to the actual sale of the team. There were rumors that until the team was sold the Dodgers would not be active in free agent bidding, but those rumors were apparently unfounded. Not only is the team extending Kemp, but it is also apparently close to a deal with free agent second baseman Mark Ellis, according to ESPN's Buster Olney's twitter. The team is expected to sell for around $1 billion.
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