From "Dodgers, Kemp Talk Multi-year" by Ken Gurnick on MLB.com's Hot Stove Blog:
The Dodgers have opened discussions on a multi-year contract with Matt Kemp, but his agent said Kemp might prefer to go year to year.
"We've only talked about it a little bit, so who knows where it's going to go?" said former Dodgers pitcher Dave Stewart, who represents Kemp and pitcher Chad Billingsley.
When long-terming youngsters became all the vogue a few years ago, the Dodgers stood as an example of a big-budget, large-market team that could afford to go to arbitration on a regular basis. The Diamondbacks' ill-conceived six-year extension for Chris Young (2009: .212/.311/.400) seemed to reinforce the Dodgers' thinking.
Then three interesting things happened:
- Russell Martin, previously a prime candidate for an extension, wasn't interested, then changed his mind, then had a bad year — further making the Dodgers look smart,
- Matt Kemp exploded, and
- the belt-tightening began in earnest.
Given the Dodgers' uncertain financial future, locking up Kemp makes more sense than ever. But will Kemp and Stewart want to play ball? That talks have even begun is a positive sign, but never expect a player to do a team any favors. Still, locking up the Bison would be a great way to enter the 2010 season.
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