Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier agents ponder impact of Dodgers sale
Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier’s agents said Wednesday they were unsure what the Dodgers’ impending ownership change meant for their clients’ futures in Los Angeles.
General Manager Ned Colletti went into the off-season saying one of his top priorities would be to sign Kemp and Ethier to long-term extensions. Both players are eligible for free agency at the end of the 2012 season.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of questions,” said Dave Stewart, who represents Kemp.
Ethier’s agent, Nez Balelo, said he thought he didn’t know enough about the situation to speculate how the Dodgers’ present situation would affect negotiations with his client.
“I think it’s still too early for me to give my opinion,” Balelo said. “We’ll have to wait and see. Time will tell what happens here.”
The league is hoping the Dodgers have new ownership by opening day. Stewart has previously said that if a deal isn’t in place by the start of the season, he would advise Kemp to end negotiations and focus on playing baseball.
Asked whether he would make an exception for a new ownership group, Stewart replied, “That’s a discussion I’m going to have with Matt. Obviously, whatever he wants to do is the direction we’ll go. My advice to him is to just play.”
Stewart said that he believed the Dodgers could have signed Kemp to an extension this winter even if McCourt had remained owner.
“I felt that if Ned was approaching us to talk about a contract, he had every right to pursue it,” he said. “I don’t think they would engage in talks about a long-term deal if they couldn’t do it.”
-- Dylan Hernandez