Dodgers Keep Kemp, While Marlins Increase Payroll

Jeff SpencerContributor IJanuary 14, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15:  Matt Kem #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on in Game One of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs agianst the Philadelphia Phillies at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Associated Press reports that the Florida Marlins have reached an agreement today with the players union to increase spending, due to complaints that the team payroll has been so small that it violates baseball’s revenue sharing provisions.

“In response to our concerns that revenue sharing proceeds have not been used as required, the Marlins have assured the union and the commissioner’s office that they plan to use such proceeds to increase player payroll annually as they move toward the opening of their new ballpark,” said Michael Weiner, executive director of the players association.

The deal was announced today in a joint statement by the Marlins, the players union, and Major League Baseball. Beyond the statement made, the parties did not comment on the matter. It is currently unclear how much the Marlins’ payroll might increase.

The agreement runs through 2012, which is when the Marlins’ new ballpark is scheduled to open.

Also, according to Mark Miller, from Yahoo! Sports, the Los Angeles Dodgers are close to a two-year deal with outfielder Matt Kemp.

You can be sure that the Dodgers want to lock up Kemp for a reasonable amount of time. He won both a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove award after he batted .297 with 26 home runs and 101 RBI. The 25-year-old Kemp is likely to be signed by the beginning of next week.

“The negotiations are going smoothly,” said Kemp's agent.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers are apparently competing with the New York Mets for free agent pitcher Joel Pineiro, who I reported about earlier in the week. Sources say that the Dodgers have a backup plan of bringing back Vicente Padilla if they can not acquire Pineiro.

At the moment, it looks like the Dodgers will miss out on Pineiro due to the pending divorce of team owner Frank McCourt, who is still causing major financial issues for the club.

I was surprised that the Dodgers took such a long time in brining back Matt Kemp for another two years. I could of sworn that they would have addressed this matter much earlier in the off-season since the market for outfielders was high, and Kemp's numbers were extremely impressive.