Cafardo: Yankees have inquired about Matt Kemp

Thoughts following the Brian McCann deal
Peralta off the board: free agent infielder going to St. Louis

Via Nick Cafardo: The Yankees are one of several teams that have called the Dodgers to inquire about Matt Kemp. Los Angeles has four outfielders (Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig) for three spots and are reportedly looking to deal one of the veterans to address a different hole on the roster. I assume the two sides talked before New York dropped big bucks on Brian McCann.

Kemp, 29, hit .270/.328/.395 (103 wRC+) with six homers and nine stolen bases in 73 games this past season while missing time with shoulder, hamstring, and ankle problems. He had surgery on the ankle a few weeks ago and surgery on the shoulder last winter. Kemp was an absolute monster in 2011 (168 wRC+ and 8.4 fWAR) and excellent in 2012 (146 wRC+ and 3.2 fWAR) despite missing more than 50 games with hamstring problems. He is owed $128M through 2019 and comes with a $20M annual luxury tax hit.

A trade for Kemp would be complicated for several reasons. First of all, what do the Dodgers want in return? I doubt they’d take prospects; they’re a win now team and probably want a third baseman or a starter, two things the Yankees don’t have to offer. Second, there’s the money. If Los Angeles kicks in enough cash to make him a $16-17M a year player instead of $20M, Kemp would be way more appealing. Third, those injuries. These aren’t bumps and bruises, it’s serious stuff. That said, the upside is insane. He just turned 29 in September and could legitimately be one of the five best players in baseball if healthy. Trading for Kemp is a great idea that might be too complicated to actually pull off.

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Thoughts following the Brian McCann deal
Peralta off the board: free agent infielder going to St. Louis
  • Bob Buttons

    With the Yanks’ penchant of having stars injured I am not so comfortable having a guy with injury concerns of his own already. At least not until some procedural changes in how they diagnose and rehab players.

  • THU

    Kemp for CC Sabathia, David Robertson, and Austin Romine(not valuing him highly, but he could be a useful piece for the Dodgers as a backup)

    • Dalek Jeter

      Are they paying…like ALL of Kemp’s contract in this scenario?

    • bms927

      Are you kidding Yankees need starters and just lost the best closer ever…. But you’re ok with letting go the best starter they got, and their new closer/ set up man? for what an injury prone player who has star potential? that is a step back in progress.

      • Wicomico Pinstripes

        Sabathia’s 2013 WAR 2.7 plus Robertson’s 1.6 equals 4.3. Kemp’s WAR in his last fully healthy season was 8.4 in 2011.

        The questions are: Does Kemp ever return to his superstar status? Does Sabathia continue to decline or does he bounce back closer to his 2012 WAR 4.6? What kind of money is being exchanged?

        All things considered this is not a trade I would entertain.

        • JGYank

          With the holes in our rotation and pen, CCs and Robertson’s (and Nova’s) value all skyrocket for us, and giving any of them up would give us serious pitching issues. Plus, CC can still rebound and will eat up innings as long as he is healthy. Robertson is our best reliever and besides Kelley we really don’t have anyone else in the pen right now that’s good.

          Especially when we can just sign another outfielder like Beltran, Grandy, or Choo and give up nothing but cash.

          • Wicomico Pinstripes

            I agree completely. I’m not advocating this trade at all. Just looking at things from a few different perspectives. But depending on how much of money the FO gets in return you could turn Sabathia and his salary into Kemp and a mid-rotation starter. Feldman?

            Again, not in favor of this trade

            • JGYank

              Yeah I know. I would have Kemp but he’s often injured and expensive. If we had pitching depth, I might consider pulling the trigger on that if I thought Kemp is healthy, but we have no pitching right now.

              I’m not sure about Feldman. I would resign Kuroda and try to get Tanaka maybe. Garza, Jimenez, Maholm, and Arroyo are other options. But losing CC would mean we would have to replace a lot of innings.

              But seriously, do the Dodgers really need another starter? I think they already have Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Beckett, Capuano, and Billingsley. Imagine if they had CC too. That would be crazy.

              • JGYank

                *I would like to

              • Wicomico Pinstripes

                I’m not a fan of Jimenez or Maholm. Arroyo has been a consistent innings eater but I don’t like him in YS3. I wouldn’t have a problem with Garza or Santana but they’re likely to command contracts that they simply are not worth. Kuroda and Tanaka are my first choices. Tanaka should actually be priority number one if he ever gets posted. But if Cash can’t land one of those two or if he scrapes together some extra money( salary dump/ Rodriguez suspension) I’d be in favor of Feldman. I think his hard sinker would fit in well.

                • JGYank

                  Agree about Kuroda and Tanaka. I don’t know much about Feldman but I hear he doesn’t have good stuff and I don’t think that would work well in YS with the short porch since Feldman is a righty that teams will stack their LHB against. But his sinker should help keep the ball on the ground and prevent fly balls. Nolasco, Capuano, some other starters are FA as well. Not many good starters out there that’s for sure. Vargas just got a 4 year deal for $32M because there’s not much else out there that’s good and wouldn’t cost a pick.

    • JGYank

      No way I give up Drob who is currently our only proven reliever for an injury prone player with a huge contract along with an innings eater who just a couple a years ago was an ace that can still bounce back while I only have two starters in my rotation including him.

    • 28 this year

      Only if they throw in Kershaw and Jensen.

      • 28 this year

        And Puig just for good measure.

  • Dalek Jeter

    Because of his injury concerns unless they’re willing to eat enough of the contract to make him a 12-15mil AAV player I’m not interested. If they are though, I’d be willing to give a package centered around Nova and Murphy.

    • Wicomico Pinstripes

      If they could get the AAV down to 15 or 16m then yeah I’d definitely be interested. Nova and Murphy would be a start. They would probably want a lot more than that though. I don’t think they’re in a hurry to get rid of a 29 year old with his potential even with his contract and injury history.

      With that said, there’s no way this deal goes down. Too many obstacles.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      I’d rather keep Nova and Murphy and just sign Beltran instead.

      • JGYank

        Agreed. We can’t afford any more holes in our rotation or to just throwing away players like Murphy in trades when we can just sign a FA like Beltran.

  • TWTR

    Dave Camerson proposed CC for Kemp.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Lol, did Soriano kill Camerson’s dog? “They tried to patch holes with Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano, but neither one should be starting on a team trying to win in 2014…” Literally the only similarties between the two are they finished the season with the Yankees, bat right handed, and played LF for the Yankees at some point this past season.

      • TWTR

        Obviously, in baseball terms, one is still alive and the other has passed on, but I would prefer that the Yankees starting LF wasn’t entering his age 38 season.

  • qwerty

    No thanks! Kemp is done. When was the last time you ever heard of an injury prone player becoming healthier going into his 30s?

  • EndlessJosm

    Kemp is a great player but those injuries will get worse.

  • anon_coward

    no way this is a real story
    dodgers are probably looking to dump him and spreading “leaks” to get other teams interested