Tony Kemp – the forgotten Oakland A’s trade chip
By David Hill
It is easy to imagine that Tony Kemp will get plenty of playing time with the Oakland A’s in 2022. His ability to play in the outfield and at second base, areas of need on the roster, should keep him in the lineup on a regular basis. Add in the fact that he is slated to make $2.25 million for the upcoming season and he would appear to be a lock to be a key part of their plans.
But the same things that make Kemp valuable to the A’s would make him a valuable trade chip. As teams will be looking for utility options, or players that could make a difference from the bench, Kemp could bring back a better return than expected.
Tony Kemp may be a valuable trade chip
If the A’s are going to trade Kemp, this would be the perfect opportunity to do so. He posted a career year in 2021, putting together a .279/.382/.418 batting line in his 397 plate appearances, hitting eight homers and 16 doubles while stealing eight bases. All of those marks, aside from the steals, marked career highs for Kemp.
There are some flaws to his profile. Kemp is a platoon player, struggling against lefties throughout most of his career. However, he did manage a decent enough .735 OPS against southpaws in 2021, albeit in 97 plate appearances. That does, at the very least, give some hope that Kemp can be a useful piece of the lineup if pressed into duty against lefties.
Kemp is also under team control through the 2023 season. Even if he puts together another strong showing in the coming year, he would be relatively inexpensive in his final trek through arbitration. With his budget friendly salary, ability to play around the diamond, and strong showing in 2021, Kemp could be a valuable trade chip.
Tony Kemp is not a player that often comes up in trade rumors with the Oakland A’s. That should change as he would be a valuable option.