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.