Friday, October 4, 2013

If Los Angeles Dodgers Put Matt Kemp on Trading Block, New York Yankees Should Inquire This Winter

The New York Yankees are in a serious need of a roster overhaul and need to inject some youthful talent who can make a difference on the team and help them get back to the postseason.

While their main priority in the offseason is re-signing Robinson Cano, the team needs to make serious changes since they only won 85 games and one of the biggest reasons the Yankees didn't get to October was all of the injuries due to the age that is creeping up on the team, thus Brian Cashman needs to figure out how to improve the team.

An idea for the Yankees GM job on a potential blockbuster trade to make before the 2014; trading for Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Alright, there will be those who think this is the Yankees just getting richer and a "fantasy baseball, MLB The Show" kind of trade, but in many ways, it makes sense.

First off, the Yankees current outfield is extremely old. As is right now, Alfonso Soriano, Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki, who are all over the age of 35, and Brett Gardner, who is coming off back-to-back seasons where he's suffered a significant injury, this season being a strained oblique which cost him the final couple weeks of the season. The other outfielder, Curtis Granderson, is a free agent and his status is unknown for next season.

So if Granderson, who is one of the team's major power sources on offense isn't back next season, the team needs to figure out how to replace him properly, and neither Suzuki nor Wells are looking like everyday offensive options who will help make the Yankees offense a legitimate contender, so the suggestion for Kemp.

With the Dodgers, they have a big of a logjam in the outfield, as they have Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Skip Shumaker and Yasiel Puig as their outfielders, plus Kemp, but he ran into injury issues, playing in just 73 games and has been shut down for the 2013 postseason with an ankle injury. A lot of people around baseball are suggesting that the Dodgers trade Kemp to clear salary along with clearing the extra space on the team.

With Kemp, he can hit for power, average, has great speed in the field and on the bases and is a superior fielder; which is known as the "five-tool player," and would be great for the Yankees to have, plus is only 29-years-old and is currently in the prime of his career as well as an MVP candidate; as he finished second for the National League MVP Award in 2011; although many people think he should have gotten the award since Ryan Braun ended up being an admitted PED user and failed a drug test later that year.

Taking on Kemp would be a costly move, as he is making an average of $21 million for the next six seasons, but if Kemp can stay healthy and play like he has done in the past for the Dodgers, then it's a great move for the Yankees to explore, and given that he's coming off a year where he was injured for most of it, they might be able to buy low on the trade where it doesn't cost them the "king's ransom" that a player like Kemp normally would.

The Dodgers might be more inclined to dealing Kemp because they will eventually have to pay Clayton Kershaw a huge contract before he's a free agent at the end of next season, plus, Puig is only making $6 million per season in the seven-year, $42 million deal he signed last June, and if he demands a pay raise, the Dodgers simply may give it to him considering how valuable of a player he has been to the team and to the fan base, so by the Dodgers shipping Kemp's contract to New York, it allows them to do just that.

Now, yes, the Yankees are looking to get under the $189 million payroll mark for this season, but they also have a lot of contracts, like Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, Granderson, and potentially Alex Rodriguez, off the books, which will open up a lot of money for the Yankees to spend, so they could essentially afford to re-sign Cano and add a player through a trade such as Kemp and still have plenty to sign other players to improve the team.

Kemp is the right kind of player the Yankees need to look at adding before 2014 and hopefully, Brian Cashman will put in a call to Dodgers GM Ned Colletti to see if he can work on making this happen and making the Yankees a playoff team again.

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