HomeMLB RumorsReds Release Tony Kemp - MLB Trade Rumors

Reds Release Tony Kemp – MLB Trade Rumors

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The Reds have released infielder/outfielder Tony Kemp, per his transactions tracker at MLB.com. He had previously signed a minor league deal with the club and that pact allowed him to opt out if not on the roster by March 23. The Reds announced yesterday that he had been reassigned to minor league camp.

Whether he triggered his opt-out or the club proactively let him go to find his next club, the end result is the same. Kemp is now a free agent again and will look around to find his next gig.

The Reds have a fairly crowded position player mix, even though infielder Noelvi Marté was recently hit with an 80-game PED suspension and outfielder TJ Friedl is set to miss extended time due to a wrist fracture. They still have Jeimer Candelario, Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain and Christian Encarnacion-Strand to take regular infield roles, as Spencer Steer, Jake Fraley and Will Benson could be taking the outfield playing time. Jonathan India could be moving between the infield and outfield while all that group rotates through the designated hitter spot. Players like Stuart Fairchild and Nick Martini are on the roster and could take on bench/depth roles.

With all of those options on hand, a couple of veterans on minor league deals have been squeezed out. Another veteran utility guy, Josh Harrison, opted out of his minor league deal yesterday after being informed he wouldn’t be making the club. Both he and Kemp will be hoping to find new clubs in the coming days, presumably ones with cleaner paths to playing time.

Kemp, 32, had a solid run with the Athletics over the past four years. He limited his strikeouts to a very low rate of 11.7% while also drawing walks at a healthy 10.5% clip. He didn’t do too much damage, hitting just 20 home runs in 1,488 plate appearances, but his contact approach led to a .240/.330/.345 batting line and 97 wRC+.

Unfortunately, his most recent season was the weakest of those four, as he hit just .209/.303/.304 last year for a 77 wRC+. But he still proved useful in other ways, stealing 15 bases while splitting his time between second base and left field. His glovework has been considered around average in left with the metrics split on his defense at the keystone. He has eight Outs Above Average as a second baseman in his career but -17 Defensive Runs Saved.

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