clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Yankees Potential Trade Target: Matt Kemp

Since Soriano's been released, and Beltran is not allowed to throw, the Yankees could be in the market for a fourth outfielder.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when the season started and the Yankees had an abundance of outfielders? Now they have two, plus Ichiro Suzuki. Although Ichiro has been serviceable in right field, and playing better than anyone really could have hoped (.297/.347/.337 90 wRC+), he might actually keel over if the Yankees plan on starting him every day for the rest of the season. The team clearly needs a fourth outfielder, and if they're looking outside of the organization, Matt Kemp could be of some help.

After a slow start to the season, Kemp has turned it around and is batting .269/.330/.430 with 117 wRC+ and 8 HR. These numbers are obviously down from his landmark 2011 season when he hit .324/.399/.586 with 168 wRC+ 39 HR and was worth 8.4 fWAR. At least some of the decline is due to the fact that Kemp has struggled mightily with injuries since then. In 2012 he missed two months with a hamstring injury. Later in the season he crashed his shoulder into a wall, and ended up having offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum and minor damage to his rotator cuff. 2013 was a never-ending string of injuries: hamstring injury, setback, DL trip for shoulder pain, ankle injury, hamstring again, ankle again. The final ankle injury required surgery to repair the problem. He somehow found his way into 73 games and finished the season at .270/.328/.395. Aside from shortened seasons in 2012 and 2013, Kemp played full seasons from 2008-2011. Sure, he could be an injury risk, but who on the team isn't at this point?

He may be having a down year, but he would still be an upgrade for the Yankees. If Kemp was currently on the team, he would have the sixth highest batting average, seventh highest OBP, second highest slugging percentage, and third highest OPS among Yankees who have played 50 or more games. Kemp put together several good years, so it's easy to think that he has the potential to be great again, even though it's hard to say whether the injuries will have a lasting impact. He's been healthy so far this season, though.

So, is Kemp actually on the market? It seems that he could be. Just yesterday, his agent said that Kemp wants to play every day, which might not be possible with the Dodgers, as they are dealing with an outfield logjam. Kemp has about $116 million remaining on his contract through 2019, so any kind of deal would involve the Yankees taking on a lot of that. The Dodgers are supposedly looking for starters and relievers, if they were to trade him.

What kind of deal do you think it would take for the Yankees to get Kemp? Do you think his potential outweighs the injury risks and his remaining salary?