Perhaps lost in the news of the NBA labor situation going to hell this afternoon is another big sports story: Dodgers OF Matt Kemp locked in $160 million over eight years. Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors notes that it's the 7th-largest deal in baseball history, tied with old friend and the greatest hitter I've ever seen, Manny Ramirez. It's notable because Kemp's not even a free agent -- he was still a year away. It's similar to this April's signing of Adrian Gonzalez by the Sox, who clocked in for a year and $6 million less (but of course also cost us three prospects).
It's also the kind of situation the Sox missed out on with Jonathan Papelbon, though most analysts seem to agree the Phillies overpaid for his services (though when was the last time a free agent wasn't overpaid). They'll have another chance with Jacoby Ellsbury, as Rob Bradford discusses at WEEI.com.
I personally wouldn't want to give anywhere near that amount of money for Ells (or Kemp for that matter), though I have a long-professed love of power over speed, and I don't see Jacoby's power surge from last year as being sustainable.
Of course, this could also affect the Sox regarding this year's free agent crop. If Ben Cherington was planning on making a very unlikely run at Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder, or a less likely but kind of possible run at Jose Reyes, the price may now be higher. Kemp is 27 -- just like Prince. Does that mean he's now locked in at eight year? What about Reyes, who's 28 but in significantly better shape than Cecil's son?