Tony Kemp signs with the Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds have been involved with plenty of rumors since the end of last season. Early this month there was a rumor that the club had interest in utility man Tony Kemp. It turns out that those rumors were true because the team has inked the 32-year-old to a minor league deal and it includes an invite to big league spring training according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Tony Kemp has played in the big leagues – at least in part – every year since 2016. He’s been with the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, and Oakland Athletics. In each of the last four seasons he’s played on a regular basis with Oakland, but his production has dropped off significantly since a breakout 2021 campaign. That season saw him hit .279/.382/.418 for a career best 126 OPS+. In the last two seasons with the Athletics he’s hit just .224/.306/.321, posting an 84 OPS+ during that time frame that covered 271 games. You can see his career stats here.

Kemp has played two positions with Oakland during his time there – second base and left field. He did play two innings at shortstop back in 2021, just in case anyone is going to get chippy in the replies. As a second baseman and left fielder, who isn’t going to win a starting gig, it’s tough to see exactly where he fits on the big league roster if everyone is healthy. While he has some position flexibility, he’s basically Jonathan India, but who hasn’t hit at all in the last two years.

Even on an individual position basis it’s tough to see where he’d get playing time. In left field the Reds have options with Spencer Steer, Jake Fraley, TJ Friedl, and Jonathan India. At second base the club has Matt McLain, Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, and potentially Jose Barrero (who is also fighting for a spot on the 26-man roster this spring). And none of that considers the non 40-man roster players who are battling under similar circumstances.

At least as of the time this is being published, there’s no mention of any late-spring opt outs. Players like Kemp, who have been around a while and are on minor league deals will get these included at times. It allows them to both compete for a job with the team they signed with, but also showcase their talents for other teams in case they don’t win a job with that particular team but someone else may have a spot for them.

- Advertisement -

Read More: Tony Kemp signs with the Cincinnati Reds 2024-02-23 21:51:52

- Advertisement -

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments