LOS ANGELES (AP)—Matt Kemp(notes) and the Los Angeles Dodgers staked their futures together Friday, finalizing a $160 million, eight-year contract that matches the seventh-highest deal in baseball history.
The star center fielder and general manager Ned Colletti each signed the agreement during a news conference at Dodger Stadium, with lame duck owner Frank McCourt looking on.
“This is very special for me,” Kemp said. “It’s a joy to be known as a Dodger.”
It’s the richest agreement in club history, topping pitcher Kevin Brown’s $105 million, seven-year deal before the 1999 season.
The 27-year-old, a favorite to win the NL MVP award next week, led the league in homers (39) and RBIs (126), while finishing third in batting average at .324 and stealing 40 bases.
“Another eight years in LA. That sounds good. I love this city and the fans,” said Kemp, dressed in a bowtie and three-piece suit, his voice sounding froggy from a cold.
“I definitely want to spend the rest of my career here. I know how unbelievable LA is when you’re winning baseball games.”
Step 1 completed in restroing Dodger fans faith in the organization.
Next, Frank McCourt is kicked out the door.
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