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.
Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.
Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.
Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.