In the New York Yankees' endless search for offense this offseason, general manager Brian Cashman may now be focusing his attention to the trade market to make a splash.
The Dodgers should be willing to part with an outfielder this offseason, as Kemp, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig will each by vying for a starting spot in 2014. With all three more than deserving of one, it stands to reason that one of them will be dealt.
Kemp missed a good portion of 2013 with an ankle injury, and he didn't really put up great numbers when active. In 73 games, he posted a slash line of .270/.328/.395 with just six home runs and 33 RBI. The ankle injury clearly hampered his production, but those type of numbers are inexcusable for a middle-of-the-order bat.
Any team acquiring Kemp (Cafardo also lists the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers as possibilities) will be paying the price associated with his outstanding 2011 season. In his runner-up National League MVP performance, Kemp blasted 39 home runs with 126 RBI and a line of .324/.399/.586.
The Yankees probably don't have the prospects to get a deal done, but Dave Cameron of ESPN.com offered up an interesting proposal: a straight-up deal of Kemp for CC Sabathia.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a crowded outfield, and likely have to trade one of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford due to the emergence of Yasiel Puig (and top prospect Joc Pederson isn't far behind). They reportedly are in the market for another starting pitcher, but don't want to part with a draft pick to sign one of the better starters on the market. By swapping Kemp for Sabathia, they could kill two birds with one stone.
Should the Yankees deal Sabathia for Kemp?
Now, that deal probably isn't all that practical from the Yankees' standpoint, as the only current starting pitchers on the roster are Sabathia and Ivan Nova. Guys like David Phelps, Vidal Nuno, Adam Warren and Michael Pineda are all huge question marks.
This inquiry is probably just Cashman doing his job and asking around to see what's available, so I wouldn't give much weight to it just yet. It's highly unlikely that the Bombers would part with Sabathia—even after his down 2013 season—to acquire an outfielder who hasn't been 100 percent healthy since 2011.
Kemp would undoubtedly be an upgrade to the likes of Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki, but the starting rotation would suffer too large of a hit if Sabathia was the bait.