(NEW YORK) — The Los Angeles Dodgers despite financial problems rewarded their star outfielder Matt Kemp, before the start of the 2012 season, with a healthy eight-year $160 million contract.
Kemp who made his major league debut in 2006 with the club led the National league in homers with 39 and RBI’s 126 in 2011. He also finished second in the MVP voting, won a gold glove, and made his first all-star appearance.
Kemp told ESPN it’s good to stay a Dodger eight more years:
“It’s always a good time to be Matt Kemp. I’m pretty blessed and happy to always be here playing the game I love to play. I’m a Dodger for eight more years and I’m happy about that and I’m excited about the upcoming season.”
Kemp said that former Dodgers player and current first base coach Davey Lopes was a huge asset to his game in 2011. The 27-year-old outfielder has been nicknamed “The Bison” by his team and stole 40 bases in 2011.
“Just trying to go out there and do one or two good things every day,” he said. “If I can’t get a hit and I’m trying to get on base and steal a base. I just try to put my team in position to score runs and help them win any way possible.”
The Dodgers will open their 2012 season on the road against the San Diego Padres on April 5.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire