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MVP candidate Matt Kemp likely to seek extension with Dodgers

Sep 22, 2011, 6:37 PM EDT

Matt Kemp, Ryan Vogelsong, Chris Stewart AP

While speculation has Andre Ethier potentially on the way out this winter, Matt Kemp is looking to stay in Los Angeles.  Asked about a contract extension by ESPN Radio’s Beto Duran, Kemp replied that we “haven’t started talks… but I plan on being with the Dodgers the rest of my career.”

Kemp would be the obvious choice for NL MVP honors this year if he were playing for a better team, and he might win the award anyway, even with the Dodgers staggering to a .500 finish.  He’s third in the league with a .322 average, tied for second with 35 homers, first with 116 RBI, second in steals with 40 and second with a .969 OPS.  Ryan Braun is right there with him offensively, but Kemp is the more valuable defender and has played in 10 more games.

Kemp is currently in the final year of a $10.95 million contract that covered his first two arbitration seasons.  He could ask for $15 million or so in arbitration this winter, and he’ll be eligible for free agency for the first time after next season.  Just 27 (actually, he turns 27 tomorrow), he’d have every right to ask to become one of the game’s highest-paid players as part of an extension.  Should he come close to matching his 2011 numbers next year, he’d definitely top Carl Crawford‘s seven-year, $142 million contract as a free agent.

The Dodgers might just want to go ahead and offer him that kind of deal now.  Kemp may not remain one of the game’s top 10 players going forward – he hit just .249/.310/.450 last year and he’ll probably need to move to an outfield corner two or three years down the line — but he’s been incredibly durable and this should be merely the first in a string of 30-homer seasons.  Also, he loves L.A. and the team could use all of the good publicity he could get.  If Either goes this winter, the Dodgers really need to make sure Kemp will be staying beyond 2012.

  1. cup0pizza - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    Would unquestionably be the smart thing to do, but is my beloved Dodgers we are talking about here.

    Kemp for MVP!
    Kershaw for Cy Young!
    Fire Colletti!

    • mr304 - Sep 25, 2011 at 7:08 PM

      WELL SAID…ETHIER I DONT MIND LEAVING BUT KEMP WOULD BE CRUSHING

  2. russgrant - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    If they don’t tie up Kemp for the rest of his career, we need to storm Chavez Ravine with pitchforks and torches and burn Coletti to the ground!

    • cup0pizza - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:48 PM

      I’ll join in! Save a pitchfork for me!

  3. russgrant - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Oh and McCourt still sucks. Make him go away soon. Amen!

  4. Lukehart80 - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    It isn’t likely, but Kemp is only two HR off the league lead and 8 points of BA off the league lead. He’s got an outside chance at the Triple Crown. I know that RBI and BA ain’t what they used to be, but that would still be quite a thing.

    If nothing else, he’s closer than anyone has been since Yaz won the last one, yet no one seems to be talking about it.

    • cup0pizza - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:52 PM

      Would be great if he reached it. Long shot, but doable.

      No one seems to be talking about it due to the ages-old East Coast bias and the fans in the slums of the eastern seaboard are much louder, much more arrogant and bark together like packs of wild dogs. Combine that with how unwatchable the Dodgers are aside from Kemp/Kershaw, and you have one of the most under the radar MVP contenders in recent memory.

  5. dailyrev - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    He and Bautista in the AL are having great games tonight to further make their respective cases. But the Eternal Treasure of the Dodgers remains Scully. I was just listening to him during the 5th inning, and he was talking about the possibility of the Giants having to watch as the Snakes celebrate clinching the div in front of them. Then, he told this amazing story about the Dodgers clubhouse scene after Bobby Thompson hit the shot heard round the world. He painted this picture of what was happening on the field (fans were allowed to run onto the field then after the game), in the victor’s clubhouse, and finally in the Dodger clubhouse adjacent. He finished with an account of a conversation between Reese and Robinson. My eyes just misted over and I said, out loud, with no one but the cat to hear it, “God bless you, Vin.”

  6. jimsjam33 - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    Why is there any question that the Dodgers need Kemp on their roster for the next few years . I can remember when the Dodgers were a real baseball team and competed for the title every year . I guess that would be the O’Malley years . Who’ll ever forget Garvey at first , Lopes at second , Russell at short , and Cey at third ? Sutton on the mound and Yeager behind the plate . Man O man those were the days . The only way to get a Dodger ticket was to buy one from a scalper . Today , the stands are empty and the gang bangers are in the parking lot trying to take away your lunch money . No more Dodger baseball for me . I’m too old to fight my way in and out and besides paying $ 15.00 to park my car in the stadium parking lot is legalized robbery . Either way I’ll watch on TV . Hmmmm , I do miss those Dodger dogs though . What happened to theDodger legends of baseball ? Walt Alston , Don Drysdale , Sandy Koufax , Maury Wills , Tommy Davis , The ” Three Dog ” Willie Davis , Orel Hersherser , Fernandomania Valenzuela , Mike Piazza , Kirk Gibson , Mickey Hatcher and Tommy LaSorda ? When Tommy left it all started to die .
    Matt Kemp , sorry young man . A different time and a different Dodger organization .

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