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Owners, players drafting new deal

NEW YORK — Players and owners have reached a tentative verbal agreement on a five-year labor contract and hope to have a signed deal by next week.

Negotiators reached an understanding when they met late Thursday at the InterContinental O'Hare in Rosemont, Ill., the Associated Press reported, though the agreement is still being drafted.

The sides hope to sign a memorandum of understanding in time to announce the agreement Monday or Tuesday. The last item to fall in place was the luxury tax on high-payroll teams.

Under the agreement, a new restraint will be placed on the amount of money a team spends each year to sign selections from the amateur draft, with teams going over a threshold being penalized with a type of luxury tax. Also as part of the deal, players and owners are agreeing to add an extra wild-card round to the playoffs. The extra round will be one game, winner take all.

Kemp's $160M is tops in Dodgers history

LOS ANGELES — Centerfielder Matt Kemp and the Dodgers staked their futures together, finalizing a $160 million, eight-year deal that matches the seventh-highest deal in baseball history.

It's the richest deal in club history, topping pitcher Kevin Brown's $105 million, seven-year deal before the 1999 season.

"Another eight years in L.A. That sounds good. I love this city and the fans," said Kemp, 27.

Kemp, a favorite to win the National League MVP award next week, led the league in homers (39) and RBIs (126), finished third in batting average at .324 and stole 40 bases.

Kemp's agreement trails only the last two contracts of Alex Rodriguez ($275 million and $252 million), and deals for Derek Jeter ($189 million), Joe Mauer ($184 million), Mark Teixeira ($180 million) and CC Sabathia ($161 million), and matches the agreement Manny Ramirez signed with Boston before the 2001 season.

Kemp could have become a free agent after the 2012 season.

"He does everything, including playing every day," general manager Ned Colletti said. "In this day and age, finding somebody that's got power and speed is one of the toughest things to find."

Cubs introduce manager: New Cubs manager Dale Sveum said his approach to ending the club's long title drought will be low key and universal: He will demand as much accountability from the veterans as he will from the younger players. Whining will not be tolerated. Ground balls will be run out at full speed.

Sveum, who was also interviewed twice by the Red Sox, was introduced by the Cubs on Friday.

"I think the arrow fell in the right spot. Whenever you got two places like that and you're in the running, your head is spinning a little bit," Sveum said. "I think what it came down to (is) this was just the better fit."

RAYS: The Rays added right-handed pitchers Alex Colome and Wilking Rodriguez, and catcher Stephen Vogt to their 40-man roster, putting them at 38. They had until midnight Friday to set their roster before the Rule 5 draft.

Red Sox, Valentine talk: Former Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine said he would "be honored" to talk more with the Red Sox about their vacant managerial position. He said he has spoken to general manager Ben Cherington and "I'm looking forward to having conversations, if that's what they want to do."

Nationals: A week after being freed from his abductors in Venezuela after being kidnapped for two days, catcher Wilson Ramos was checked by team doctors in Washington and pronounced to be "in terrific shape" by general manager Mike Rizzo. Ramos headed back to Venezuela late Friday and plans to play for his winter league team there.

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

Owners, players drafting new deal 11/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 18, 2011 11:05pm]

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