So How Good Does Matt Kemp’s Contract Look Now?

Back in November, the Dodgers locked up outfielder Matt Kemp for the next eight years for the enormous sum of $160 million. At the time, not only was it by far the largest in Dodger history, it was the seventh-largest contract in baseball history and the largest in National League history. While we noted that the deal wasn’t entirely without risk – Kemp was just one year off a hugely disappointing 2010 and tying up that much money in any single player can easily turn sour – we were generally very happy with the outcome. As I said at the time, “if you’re going to make that gamble, making it on an athletic outfielder that you know well and who is just entering his prime is a much smarter choice than doing it on a player already into his 30s who is an uncertain commodity.” Kemp ended up finishing second in an MVP race that he probably should have won, even before Ryan Braun‘s testing issues became public, and the combination of few available free-agent bats likely to be had next winter and Kemp’s youth meaning that he’s only signed through 34 made the deal seem extremely appealing.

Besides, beyond the obvious baseball reasons for needing to retain Kemp, this was a move that had to be made from a pure public relations standpoint. After all the garbage Frank McCourt has put fans through over the last few years, and considering that the Dodgers haven’t had a homegrown star stick with the team in decades – the last two players who made it ten years with the club were the decidedly non-elite Eric Karros & Dave Hansen, who each left after 2002 – the idea of letting Kemp walk was probably more than this fractured fanbase would have been able to handle. If you had to overpay slightly to avoid that, then so be it.

All of which is to say, at the time the deal was signed just before Thanksgiving, we were all pretty happy with it, one of the few Dodger roster moves this winter which was met with something other than disdain.

Two months later, Kemp’s contract has been absolutely blown away by the mega-deals received by Albert Pujols (ten years & between $246m-268m from the Angels, depending on incentives and personal-services deals) and the nine years and $214m Prince Fielder collected from Detroit yesterday. Considering what Kemp brings to the table that neither Pujols or Fielder do, the fact that the Dodgers kept him for $54m less than Fielder and about $100m less than Pujols – over a shorter term than either – makes the Kemp deal look even better than it does the day it was signed.

Compare Kemp to Pujols. As much as I love Kemp, it’s crazy to argue that he’s a superior or even equal hitter to Pujols, who will probably be one of the five best to ever play the game when he’s done. I mean, Pujols hit .299/.366/.541 with 37 homers last year, and people were complaining it was a down year; the man is a beast. But Pujols, who turned 32 earlier this month, is nearly five years older than Kemp, and perhaps more, if you believe the constant (yet unverified) rumors that his age may not be accurate. He’s a very good baserunner, but of course doesn’t offer close to the speed Kemp provides on the bases. While he’s an excellent defensive first baseman, one of the best in the game, the mere fact that he’s limited to the least-important defensive position curtails his value. You can argue both the accuracy of WAR and how it rates Kemp on defense, it’s for that reason that only once has Pujols had a season that beats Kemp’s 2011 in rWAR, back in 2003 when he put up an obscene 10.9 mark that ranks as the 16th-best season since World War II.

Younger, $100m cheaper, more dangerous on the basepaths, playing a far more valuable defensive position, and not coming off his worst (though of course, still great) season? I think I know which deal I’d rather have.

What about Fielder, whose own youth – born just four months ahead of Kemp in 1984 – was a major selling point for him? Fielder is of course an offensive force, since his .981 OPS last year was nearly the equal of Kemp’s and because has surpassed that mark twice before. The obvious big problem with Fielder is that not only is he a first baseman, he’s a bad first baseman, ranking as perhaps the worst in the sport since he became a full-time player in 2006. While his youth is an asset, his body type most certainly is not; you could argue that on hitting alone, he’s maybe better than Kemp, but when you consider baserunning and the enormous defensive gap between the two, Kemp seems like a better bet for the future. Not only that, Fielder is getting a year more and comes with $54m in additional risk.

I liked Kemp’s deal a whole lot in November, and I like it even more now. That’s in large part because unlike Pujols and Fielder, Kemp had not yet reached free agency, when the ability to negotiate with other clubs would almost certainly have inflated his price. Great job by the Dodgers to get him secured now, before an entire season of questions about his status and an even bigger payday next winter.

0 comments

Trackbacks

  1. [...] MSTI: Mike Petriello asks how good Matt Kemp‘s contract looks in light of other long term deals. Pretty awesome, I’d say. [...]

  2. [...] Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness says the Fielder deal makes Matt Kemp‘s contract look even better. [...]

  3. [...] Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness says a Fielder understanding creates Matt Kemp‘s agreement demeanour even better. [...]

  4. [...] thrilled with the offseason. The good will engendered by signing Kemp to an eight-year extension (which looks better by the day) hasn’t exactly overcome the disappointment of spending millions on backloaded two-year [...]

  5. [...] So How Good Does Matt Kemp’s Contract Look Now? « Mike …Jan 25, 2012 … Back in November, the Dodgers locked up outfielder Matt Kemp for the next eight years for the enormous sum of $160 million. ….. INF Luis Cruz … [...]

  6. best approach to re-writing, of course, is…

    to find someone else, someone with a critical eye and a tough skin, to read and mark and criticize what you have written. bear into that criticism. change what is recommended. alter your approach. try it again. revising and editing your…

  7. keep going. good point. create a schedule…

    you can live with. go to wordpress or blogger and open an account. shoot for just 1 blog per month. don’t start until you have 5-6 ideas on tap. put a reminder on your calendar for the middle of the month,…

  8. of google are higher. so optimize your…

    posts with relevant keywords that target the specific needs and wants of your audience. make sure that you include a relevant key word in every paragraph of your content. blog post ideas don’t always come easy, yet it’s essential to keep…

  9. franchises says:

    a market for your blog. what you…

    should do is to create specific accounts for your blogs and then seek out an audience that might be interested.3. update fresh content oftenthe key to quality traffic is to keep your site fresh on a regular basis. one mistake some…

  10. to you must be written according to…

    the quality level they had promised. it must pass plagiarism test and quality assurance test, so hire a professional to evaluate the quality of a blog article purchased if you cannot do it yourself. introductionblogging is very much popular these days….

  11. Click! says:

    something happening in your niche and give…

    it a popularity boost by writing about a hot trend. google trends are a great tool to use for this method, as well as reading the newspaper or watching the news.get on your soap boxpeople love to read about rants, it’s…

  12. of the search.if you want your blog…

    to get noticed on a search engine, you might need to implement some seo techniques. there are companies that can write the seo articles for you, or you can write your own seo articles. if you are a blog writer and…

  13. not only a skilled writer, but is…

    also experienced in performing various online marketing or seo (search engine optimization) tasks. if you don’t have the skills needed for the job, better not apply for it, instead, choose the best project that is suitable for what you know you…

  14. a collection of all your recipes with…

    the intentions of one day being able to earn some money from it all. exactly how you want to earn money from is still unclear to you, but right now you are content blogging about recipes and food.you have been doing…

  15. Click Here! says:

    discouraged because you’re working hard and not…

    seeing any results?” (the opening line for this article.)3) images that create curiosity. i just started implementing this into my blog posts. one thing that i have learned is i have to be different and stand out from the crowd. you…

  16. minerals. it not only helps the mother…

    to shed extra weight but also gives the right kind of nutrition to the baby till such time he or she can be fed other food apart from mother’s milk.the internet is the best place where the right information can be…

  17. to poor reviews. blogging can hold the…

    ability to either make or break a company, especially since numerous blogs now get thousands of “hits” every day.when thinking about blogs, you will want to know what a “hit” is, especially if you want to start blogging yourself. a “hit”…

  18. to read the latest entries.business owners who…

    are interested in starting or maintaining a blog have plenty of options for finding blog post writers for hire online. these individuals are well-skilled in their fields and understand what it takes to write successful posts time after time. in the…

  19. product, keep selling it, and then gradually…

    find more and more products you can promote. over time, your income will grow exponentially.how to make money with your own blogblogging is another easy way to make money online. the secret to profitable blogging is to focus on a particular…

  20. to become more knowledgeable about it. are…

    you in pursuit of good ideas and tips to get the company blog started? looking for ways to inculcate and integrate the 4ps of marketing? inquire if the marketing department of your company is planning to enter the blog-sphere with a…

  21. you say and how you say it…

    and not the length of the update itself! learning to say a lot with fewer words is actually a skill that comes with practice and leaving meaningful comments at other platforms is great practice! of course the higher the quality of…

  22. you are only a ‘personal blogger’ and…

    not really in it to earn money, the free versions are just acceptable for you and your needs. the best blog software is wordpress.if you’re serious about blogging and making money online, then there is no other blog software you will…

  23. idea to get a second opinion.as well…

    as content, people who have learned the secret of how to get more website traffic have studied the dark arts of seo, or search engine optimization as it’s otherwise known. backlinking is the key to success here, as well as researching…

  24. know about the existence of the contents…

    hoisted. in result the website will get recognition online as desired.importance of article writing seo article writing is important for the website because – • it will be relevant to the target keyword and search engines will lead the viewer look…

  25. visit us says:

    current state, it is not publishable. however,…

    at least the writer is aware enough of this to seek out an editor. yet, he still has moments of doubt; will an editor change the story so it no longer has the meaning the author intended. will his characters lose…

  26. seguros says:

    worst mistakes made when sending emails and…

    posting to social media is the failure to include appropriate calls-to-action and a sound lead generation funnel. every email should, at a minimum, contain a link to a social media page or website page that provides additional information related to th…

  27. pads says:

    cuts to build as you go. keep…

    a word document as an icon on your laptop that is quick and easy to open. as the day progresses and you read something or meet with someone, jot down a few thoughts on that doc. if you have an iphone…

  28. attempt to get on your email list…

    and start building a relationship with them. if you want to host a successful blog, you need to ensure that it enjoys good traffic. business blogging is one of the best ways of taking your business forward, increasing visibility on the…

  29. Titanic says:

    you just need to expand each one…

    into a paragraph.keep your sentences and paragraphs short. huge chunks of text deter people from reading.take regular Titanic breaks, five minutes every half hour and thirty minutes every couple of hours. take a short walk, make coffee or get a glass o…

  30. article for online marketing, but their articles…

    might evolve in quality and their earnings might begin to increase slowly. this same writer might also start his own blog about how he has improved his article writing skills. his blog might become successful and he might decide to write…

  31. the lord jesus christ and i have…

    only begun to learn what that is really all about! if you want to write, learn all you can learn about writing.i told you just few quick tips! i Titanic sincerely believe however, if you will take the three tips: look! listen!…

  32. Yelp says:

    you’ve got to start with the basics….

    you don’t need to be an expert and obscure rules of language and all the nuanced technicalities of what is “right” or “wrong” according to the oxford dictionary. but, you do need to adhere to good practices in spelling, grammar, and…

  33. your website?one of the main reasons to…

    create a blog or forums is to provide information to readers. sometimes these can be specific to a website you own. however for this article we are not talking about owning blogs or forums as much as posting on sites owned…

  34. reputation. be yourself. show your personality. be…

    real and write for real people with your authentic voice.good listening skillsyou are beginning a dialogue, and part of all dialogues involves listening. encourage questions and comments and get involved with your audience by answering questions and re…

  35. they want to be approached by writers….

    some only want agented material, so forget those, unless you want to take the time to try and get an agent. (there are writers digest books geared to this, as well). other publishers will only accept “exclusive” manuscript submissions. this means…

  36. obvious imagery, try finding an image which…

    reflects an analogy or story within your post, or perhaps a facial expression or image of someone engaged in an activity related to the topic. if you think about it, there’s usually something which fits…choose a bold and bright picture (especially…

  37. be sure to include a track back…

    as well. numbers in the title – people like simple answers. the promise that you can solve their problem in just 5 easy steps is too tempting to pass up. blog posts with numbers in the title get more traffic. look…

  38. Airsoft says:

    Evike.com…

    Treat yourself to a brand new Airsoft light or laser. 100% quality, our lights and lasers are the ultimate upgrade in Airsoft….