Dodgers nearing a two-year deal with Matt Kemp
"The negotiations are going smoothly," Stewart said. "Do I think we can get it done? Yes. Will it get done? Only time will tell."
The deal would buy out the first two of Kemp's three arbitration years.
Based on his numbers from last season, Kemp was expected to earn around $4 million in the arbitration process this year.
Players and teams will exchange salary arbitration figures on Tuesday but Stewart said he anticipated that Kemp would be signed by then.
Stewart has said in the past that he believes young players can best maximize their earnings in the arbitration process and, as a result, should avoid signing multiyear deals until they become free agents after their sixth year of major-league service. Asked why he advised Kemp to explore a multiyear deal with the Dodgers, Stewart replied, "The ballclub is really, really motivated to do it. Any time the club shows it's motivated to do something for the player, it's a good thing. Second, you always want to get a young player an opportunity to put good money in his pocket."
At the owners' meetings in Arizona today, Dodgers President Dennis Mannion said General Manager Ned Colletti has the freedom to sign Kemp to an even longer deal.
"That's Ned's negotiation to have," Mannion said. "He's got the latitude to come back with any sort of deal he wants."
Mannion maintained that owner Frank McCourt's divorce proceedings have not impacted the Dodgers financially.
"I don't think we're hamstrung by Frank and Jamie's situation," Mannion said. "If anything, we're more challenged by the economy."
Utility man Nick Green, who was signed by the Dodgers to a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to spring training, will earn a $550,000 base salary if he is on their major-league roster. Green can earn an additional $100,000 in incentives based on plate appearances.
Here are the contract details of a few of the Dodgers' other signings. All contracts are minor-league deals that include invitations to spring training.
- Angel Berroa: $600,000 base salary in the majors.
- Doug Mientkiewicz: $550,000 base salary in the majors. He can earn an additional $200,000 based on plate appearances.
- Russ Ortiz: $650,000 base salary in the majors. He can earn an additional $1.05 million in incentives based on number of games started and $150,000 based on relief appearances.
-- Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin
Photo: Matt Kemp breaks his bat during Game 2 of the National League division series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Oct. 8. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times