Matt Kemp won’t negotiate a contract extension after the 2012 season begins

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Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times spoke with Dave Stewart, the agent for Matt Kemp.  The upshot: Kemp is willing to talk to the Dodgers about a long term deal, but that he won’t negotiate with the team once next season begins.  absent an extension Kemp would become a free agent after the 2012 season.

This is becoming the thing to do for the big fish on the market, aided by the fact that the time in which a team has exclusive rights to negotiate with its free agents was dramatically reduced beginning last winter. Now it’s (a) get your guy signed before the end of the year; or (b) compete with everyone.  If the player decided not to negotiate during the season, he basically chops six months off the schedule.

Kemp, who has been content to go year-to-year through arbitration with the Dodgers is slated to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million next year.  The free agent deal? Man, if he has a 2012 like his 2011, it could be astronomical.

Giants sign Austin Jackson to two-year, $6 million contract

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The Giants announced on Monday night the signing of outfielder Austin Jackson. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, it’s a two-year, $6 million deal with performance incentives that allow Jackson to earn up to an additional $2.5 million for a total of $8.5 million.

Jackson, who soon turns 31 years old, spent last season with the Indians. In 318 plate appearances, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven home runs, 35 RBI, and 46 runs scored.

The Giants have been on the hunt for a center fielder and Jackson addresses that need relatively cheaply. Jackson will join Hunter Pence and newcomer Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.