The Los Angeles Dodgers and outfielder Matt Kemp agreed to an eight-year, $160 million contract, the biggest in franchise history, MLB.com said, citing an unnamed Major League Baseball official.
Kemp, 27, is considered a leading candidate for the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award after hitting .324 with 39 home runs and 126 runs batted in last season. The Dodgers’ centerfielder also had 40 stolen bases and won a Gold Glove award for defensive excellence.
Kemp’s contract would surpass the franchise-record seven-year, $105 million deal pitcher Kevin Brown signed with the Dodgers in 1998. The contract, which is contingent on Kemp passing a medical exam, may be announced today, MLB.com said.
“We’re getting close, but nothing is official yet,” Kemp said yesterday at the Dodgers’ dedication of a new youth baseball field in Compton, California, according to ESPN.com. “Everybody knows that I want to stay a Dodger, be a Dodger and end my career here. That’s up to the Dodger organization. I’m here for the long haul.”
Kemp last season became the first Dodgers player to lead the NL in homers and RBI since Dolph Camilli in 1941.
He was also the seventh player in major league history to finish the season ranked in the top three in batting average, home runs, RBI and stolen bases, joining Hall of Fame players Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, George Sisler, Chuck Klein, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. In six seasons with the Dodgers, Kemp has a .294 batting average with 128 homers and 457 RBI.