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The Los Angeles Dodgers are on the verge of re-signing their superstar center fielder Matt Kemp to the largest contract in team history, with reports putting the deal at $160 million for eight years.
The team has filed for bankruptcy protection, but the contract does not have to be approved by the court, according to the Los Angeles Times, though a creditor could raise an objection.
With the Dodgers up for sale and seeking a price in the neighborhood of $1 billion, the deal with one of the game’s best young players could provide a measure of stability to anyone looking to buy the club from beleaguered owner Frank McCourt.
Kemp, 27, led the National League with 39 home runs and 126 RBI last season while stealing 40 bases and batting .324. A strong favorite to win the NL’s Most Valuable Player award, he was eligible to become a free agent after the 2012 season.
The contract is said to be the seventh-largest in baseball history (Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter of the Yankees are among those who earn more). The Dodgers’ previous contract record was the seven-year, $105 million deal with pitcher Kevin Brown in 1998.
Kemp’s agent is former big-league pitcher Dave Stewart.
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