General manager Brian Cashman has already made three successful moves. Chase Headley and Brandon McCarthy have been very good as members of the Bombers, while Chris Capuano's first start in pinstripes was encouraging.
None of these moves represent the big acquisitions we've become accustomed to, however. Does Cashman have something bigger up his sleeve? That's uncertain for now, but we'll know for sure by 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Below are the latest rumors surrounding the Yankees.
Matt Kemp Not an Option
Yankees fans hoping to see Matt Kemp join the Bombers might be unhappy with the recent news from ESPN's Andrew Marchand:
Yanks are currently not in on Matt Kemp, according to a source.— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) July 25, 2014
It's no secret that the Yankees could use a boost offensively. Right field has been a big weakness all season. Ichiro Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano, Kelly Johnson and Zelous Wheeler have all seen time at the position. None of them have produced.
Kemp's relationship with the Los Angeles Dodgers has soured recently. He hasn't played every day because of the presence of Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford. This prompted a rather bold statement from his agent, Dave Stewart, via Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal:
Whatever they want to do we’re favorable to, as long as it gives him an opportunity to play every day,” Stewart said. “He’d like to eventually go back to center field. He’s not opposed to right or left. But his hope at some point is to get back to center.
Kemp later clarified, via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
Kemp: "I want to play every day, if it’s with the Dodgers, if it’s with somebody else. It’s not my decision. I don’t make that decision."— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) July 19, 2014
Regardless, it's clear that Kemp wouldn't mind a trade.
He is owed a ton of money ($107 million following the current season), which will make finding a trade partner difficult. Throw in the fact that he hasn't had the same powerful swing since his near-MVP season in 2011, and it becomes even more difficult.
The prospect of acquiring a player of Kemp's level is an attractive one for the Yankees, but the money is simply far too much. The Dodgers would likely ask for salary relief and talented prospects in return for a player who may never come close to 40 homers and 40 steals in a season again.
Still, Kemp is a player worth monitoring for the Yankees, as he'd probably clear waivers in August.
Alex Rios a Long Shot
The Texas Rangers would be wise to sell, and one big name they can offer up is outfielder Alex Rios. Rios is a great hitter with a cannon of an arm from right field, so teams would line up for his services.
Rosenthal tweets that multiple teams have already gotten in line:
The Yankees could certainly use Rios in right field, but Rosenthal tweeted that the team isn't a good match because of the player's no-trade clause:
The 33-year-old is a free agent after this season, though the Rangers hold a team option on him for 2015. The Yankees, should they acquire him, would likely only use him as a rental. He is having another strong season, slashing .299/.328/.426 with four homers, 43 RBI, eight triples and 16 stolen bases.
Cashman could offer the Rangers salary relief if he chooses to absorb nearly all of what Rios is still owed for this season. That would lessen the prospects going to Texas in return, making this deal a good one for the Bombers.
Given the inconsistencies this lineup has suffered in 2014, adding Rios to the heart of the order will go a long way. While he hasn't produced a ton of runs this year, Rios is a consistent hitter who can move runners over and put the ball over the fence when pitchers make mistakes.
He has a history of power, so moving to Yankee Stadium certainly will help his production.
John Danks Only Realistic Pitching Option
The never-ending search for starting pitching continues.
Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and A.J. Burnett of the Philadelphia Phillies don't appear to be options for various reasons. Other pitchers like Wade Miley, Bartolo Colon, Kevin Correia and Edwin Jackson also aren't on the team's radar.
Should the Yanks go after Danks?
Danks isn't a bad option, though. The left-hander is owed $34 million over the next three years, which is good value for a guy who can register ERAs in the low-4.00s. Danks relies on contact, so he's vulnerable to rallies. Without the ability to strike hitters out with regularity, Danks can fall victim to hard contact on occasion.
That said, he's a decent option as a No. 5 starter for this team—but only if the asking price isn't high. The White Sox should be happy enough that the Yankees would be taking his contract off the books, but Cashman has to include a prospect as well.
Perhaps Mason Williams' name could come up in talks. The once-top prospect has struggled recently, but a change of scenery could help revitalize his career.
Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR