New York Yankees

Yankees should kick the tires on signing Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp couldn’t earn consistent playing time for the Reds, but he could give the Yankees outfield a nice boost for a few weeks.

The quantity of injuries in the Yankees outfield has been a big problem for manager Aaron Boone this season. Matt Kemp isn’t a player who can come to the Bronx and solve all of Boone’s issues, but he could give New York a nice lift in the short-term.

The same can’t be said for Kemp’s ability to impact the Reds. Cincinnati chose to release the 34-year-old on Saturday. He’d missed the last 11 games due to a broken rib he suffered running into an outfield wall back on April 21st.

Assuming Kemp is ready to return to action, it’s very possible GM Brian Cashman will entertain the idea of making him a Yankee. His team has been riddled with injuries in the outfield. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks are all currently on the Injured List. That’s forcing Boone to rely on Cameron Maybin, Mike Tauchman and Brett Gardner as his starting outfield at the moment.

Gardner isn’t going anywhere, but neither Maybin and Tauchman should feel comfortable about their spot on the Yankees roster. Kemp could be acquired as a potential upgrade over either outfielder.

Tauchman, in particular, should be concerned about his place in Boone’s lineup. The 28-year-old outfielder is mired in a horrible slump at the plate which has lowered his batting average down to a paltry .174. He is a quality defender, but right now he’s close to an automatic out at the plate. The fact that New York swung a deal to acquire him on the eve of the regular season won’t be enough to keep him on the major league roster if Cashman believes Kemp can give his team more.

The central argument against bringing Kemp into the mix is just how close several of the Yankees outfielders seem to be to returning to action. Frazier is currently participating in rehab games in the minors. It’s possible he could be ready to return to the majors next week. Stanton is another outfielder who could easily find himself back into the lineup within the next 10 days. Even Hicks has an outside chance of returning in that time frame.

Next: 5 prospects who can help the Yankees in 2019

If the Yankees get impatient, it would be easy to envision a scenario where Kemp comes in to take Tauchman’s at-bats for a few weeks. It isn’t a move that’s going to transform the team’s season, but it could be a subtle move to grab the team a few more wins in May.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *