Sources -- Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers near $160 million deal - ESPN Los Angeles
Thought this deserved its own thread, it's a stunning deal for a few reasons.
First, an 8 year deal is 5 years more than any other deal Ned has signed since the Juan Pierre deal. Since then, 3 years has been the max for extensions and free agent deals.
Second, $20 million per year is quite a haul considering it's an extension and not a free agent deal. Deals like this usually assume both sides gave up something to make it happen, so Kemp would have been looking for either more years (unlikley) or more dollars (likely) on the open market. The Dodgers would likely have caved on giving more years than they wanted to keep Kemp off the market. What will Pujols and Fielder want? They both put up numbers like Kemp, but with far more consistency and for a longer time. And they can have teams bid against each other, which Kemp could not.
Third, word is that the Dodgers and handcuffed this offseason from going after free agents and spending money. But this Kemp deal certainly throws that into doubt, even though he is not a free agent it's hard to believe the Dodgers could hand out a $200MM extension if they had the clamps on their checkbook. A deal of this magnitude could mean the Dodgers are free to improve the team without restrictions (positive view) or that they only have approval to retain players hence the urgency to spend and spend big on Rivera and Kemp.