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Category: Dave Stewart

Matt Kemp's agent reacts to Ryan Braun's positive drug test


Former major league pitcher Dave Stewart said he was preparing to watch the Heisman Trophy presentation on television Saturday when he learned Ryan Braun reportedly had tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God,’” Stewart said.

Stewart is the agent for Matt Kemp, who finished second to Braun in balloting for the National League’s most valuable player award. Kemp was a triple-crown contender and finished a home run short of becoming the fifth player in major league history to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in the same season.

“If this thing turns out to be true and it turns out to be a fact that there were performance-enhancing substances in Ryan Braun, we’re going to be disappointed,” Stewart said. “But let me be very, very clear: we’re disappointed finishing second in the first place.

“My thoughts were that Matt should have won to begin with.”

Braun is disputing the charges through arbitration, according to ESPN, which first reported the positive test.

“It’s B.S.,” Braun said to USA TODAY of the test result.

Stewart said he hopes Braun is right.

“From what I understand, this is a quality kid,” Stewart said. “You don’t wish anything bad on good people.”

Stewart said if the test result is upheld, it could be damaging to baseball.

“I think it was not long ago that the commissioner made a statement that the sport is clean,” he said. “Once again, it takes you a step back.”


Matt Kemp coming in second in MVP vote is best thing for Dodgers

Dodgers won't add an MVP, no matter what happens to Ryan Braun

Brewers' Ryan Braun is selected most valuable player in National League

-- Dylan Hernandez

Photo: Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun follows through on a home run against the Dodgers this summer in Milwaukee. Credit: Jeffrey Phelps / Associated Press

Agent: Dodgers made a statement with new deal for Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp’s agent said the Dodgers made a statement by agreeing to an eight-year, $160-million contract with his client.

“The statement is, ‘He’s ready,’” Kemp's agent, Dave Stewart, said Thursday.

Ready to be great. Ready to be leader.

“Matt is a very good player right now, but very, very close to that line of great player,” Stewart said. “I think that the Dodgers have the same vision that I do for Matt.”

Kemp’s eight-year, $160-million contract will be officially announced at a Friday morning news conference at Dodger Stadium, according to club officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because plans for the event hadn't been made public yet. Finalized on Monday, the deal is the largest ever for a National League player. The contract is the seventh-richest in the history of baseball.

Considering Kemp was still under the Dodgers’ control for next season, Stewart said he views the contract as having two parts: next year and the following seven.

Stewart said he pushed the Dodgers for the additional seven years because of how recent top-line free agents such as Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth were able to get seven-year contracts.

“Matt as a free agent at 28 easily would be able to get seven years on the market,” he said.

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Matt Kemp talks about the Dodgers' ownership change, his future

Kemp_640Matt Kemp said Thursday that he was uncertain about how the Dodgers' pending ownership change would affect his future in Los Angeles.

Kemp will be eligible for free agency at the end of next season. General Manager Ned Colletti went into the off-season saying one of the Dodgers' top priorities this winter would be to sign Kemp to a long-term contract extension.

"Hopefully, we can work something out," Kemp said during a conference call with reporters. "I don't know what the future holds for us. I've told everybody this is where I want to be, in L.A. Hopefully, I can stay here for years to come."

FULL COVERAGE: Dodgers sale

Kemp has been advised by his agent, Dave Stewart, to end negotiations at the start of the season if a deal isn't reached by then. Asked if he would make an exception for a new ownership group, Kemp replied, "Of course, I would listen to them. But like Stew said, during the season, it's focus on baseball. With contract negotiations, it can get kind of tough and overwhelming for that person and the team. I don't want to mess up the chemistry of the team."

Kemp said he hopes Manager Don Mattingly and his coaching staff will be retained by the next ownership group.

"Donnie did a great job," he said. "The coaching staff was amazing this year. I don't think there will be any changes on our team. I hope not. We worked well together."

Kemp, who was awarded his second career Silver Slugger award on Wednesday night, continued to lobby for the addition of free agent Prince Fielder to the Dodgers, but acknowledged that because of the ownership situation, he didn’t know what the team could or couldn't do.

Saying Frank McCourt always treated him well, Kemp described outgoing owner's departure as "unfortunate."

"I have respect for him," Kemp said. "I wish him the best."

Kemp said he has already started his off-season workouts. He said he felt he could improve on last season's performance, pointing out he could better his base-running and plate discipline.

He is also waiting to learn if he will be named the National League’s most valuable player. The NL MVP won't be named until Nov. 22.

"I never knew until I was in the MVP discussion that it took so long," he said, laughing. "It feels like a long time."


Dodgers' Matt Kemp wins Silver Slugger Award

Who would you choose to own the Dodgers? [Poll]

Dodgers sale ends slim hope of big off-season acquisition

-- Dylan Hernandez

Photo: Matt Kemp. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press

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.

FULL COVERAGE: Dodgers sale

“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.”

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Dodgers Web musings: Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw & all that cash

Money, money, money. Not the kind you and I make, and not the kind we can even imagine spending.

We're talking the big money that star players make. The Dodgers currently have two mega-stars, and unfortunately at this bankrupt time, both are approaching major contracts.

Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw are arbitration-eligible this off-season; Kemp for the last time, Kershaw for the first.

Kemp’s situation makes his long-term signing more pressing, but his agent, Dave Stewart, inferred to The Times’ Dylan Hernandez that the Dodgers best not expect a significant hometown discount to sign him.

Last year at age 32, Jayson Werth signed for $126 million and 30-year-old Carl Crawford for $142 million, both for seven years. Kemp is only 27 and coming off an MVP-caliber season.

Though Kershaw remains under team control, Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors said it could cost the Dodgers as much as $35 million just during his arbitration years. Mike Petriello of MikeSciosciasTragicIllness thinks the Dodgers' unwillingness to gamble and tie up Kershaw prior to his breakout season is going to cost them serious dollars.

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Dodgers coaching staff tranquillity: Whole group returns for 2012

Photo: Don Mattingly. Credit: Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press.

Ah, harmony, ain’t it grand? Not a frequent visitor to the Dodgers the last two seasons, but they have found a comfortable accord in one area.

The Dodgers announced Friday that their entire coaching staff would return next season, which, though expected, is still noteworthy for the speed in which it was accomplished.

Of course, the staff could still change if one of the coaches –- Tim Wallach? –- gets an offer to manage over the winter, but for now at least one significant area is all settled. And think how happy agent Dave Stewart must be.

It was Stewart who complained about the way the coaches Larry Bowa and Bob Schaefer were handling his numero uno client, Matt Kemp, last season. Guess which two coaches didn’t return in 2011?

Kemp, of course, found his groove this year with a breakout season, so why would there be any rocking of the boat now? Plus, they all seem to work well together with Manager Don Mattingly and are liked and respected by the players. Win-win.

So the seven solid coaches the Dodgers ended the season with are now all scheduled to return, though that technically still leaves them down one spot from the last few years. After hitting coach Jeff Pentland was fired in July, another coach was never added.

The seven samurai are:

Dave Hansen, originally hired as a hitting instructor to assist Pentland, was promoted to hitting coach on July 20, the team hitting .261 the rest of the way; Trey Hillman is back for his second year as bench coach; Rick Honeycutt is back for a seventh season as pitching coach after the staff composed a 3.54 ERA; Ken Howell returns for his fifth year as the bullpen coach; Davey Lopes, credited for igniting the team’s running attack, returns for his second year as first base coach; Wallach is back for a second stint as the third base coach; and Manny Mota a record 33rd year as a coach.


Strong finish sparks hope for Dodgers in 2012

Dodgers' Matt Kemp has one final blast in 7-5 victory

T.J. Simers: Don Mattingly hopes he's earned his stripes as a manager

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Don Mattingly. Credit: Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press.

Dodgers buck up for life on the road

Brewers_640 And now the road beckons the Dodgers, though it’s not exactly the siren’s call. Like life hasn’t been difficult enough in the cozy confines of half-empty Dodger Stadium.

But beginning Monday in Milwaukee, the Dodgers will play 21 of their next 27 games on the road. Just keep the suitcases packed.

Games on the road actually haven’t been all that more challenging for the Dodgers than those at home; they get such little support at Dodger Stadium, maybe the home games are good training.

The Dodgers are 24-30 on the road and 31-34 at home.

"We’ve actually been pretty good on the road," said manager Don Mattingly. "We’ve been a pretty solid club everywhere we go, in terms of the consistency of our play. It should be a fun road trip, really."

Right, just oodles. The immediate 10-game trip starts with four in Milwaukee where the Brewers are a major-league best 44-15 at home. Then come three in Colorado, before three in St. Louis.

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Chad Billingsley, Dodgers complete three-year, $35-million contract extension [Updated]

Chad Billingsley’s three-year contract extension with the Dodgers became official Tuesday.

[FOR THE RECORD: Club option: An earlier version of this post stated that the contract includes a $14-million club option for 2014. The option is for 2015.]

Billingsley will be guaranteed $35 million from 2012-2014.

The right-handed pitcher will earn $9 million in 2012, $11 million in 2013 and $12 million in 2014. The contract includes a $14-million club option for 2015; if the Dodgers decline the option, they would owe Billingsley a $3-million buyout.

If the option is picked up, the deal would be worth a total of $46 million.

The deal includes a limited no-trade clause that allows Billingsley to block trades to 10 teams.

Billingsley was already under contract for the upcoming season for $6.275 million.

Billingsley’s agent, Dave Stewart, said he was contacted by assistant general manager Kim Ng shortly after avoiding arbitration and settling on a 2011 salary.

Stewart said he initially told Billingsley that he thought he should wait until the end of the season to explore an extension but that his client told him he wanted to get a deal done as soon as possible.

-- Dylan Hernandez


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