The Oakland A’s are going to feature prominently in any series about players that could be traded. After all, their well publicized impending fire sale is likely to happen once the lockout ends, with any player who is not bolted down potentially being on the trade block. Such is the case with utility man Tony Kemp.
As MLB Trade Rumors continues their look at players that could be dealt, they have focused on regular additions to the lineup that may fly under the radar. Kemp was one such player, as the second baseman/outfielder could end up having decent value for a team in search of a utility piece.
Oakland A’s should trade Tony Kemp now
On one hand, it is clear as to why the A’s would want to keep Kemp on the roster. Not only is he inexpensive, as he will earn just $2.25 million in 2022, but he is also under team control for another year. His ability to play at second and around the outfield also makes him valuable for a team that is due to have quite a few holes on the roster.
On the other hand, this is the time to trade Kemp if the A’s want to maximize his value. He produced a career best .279/.382/.418 batting line in his 397 plate appearances, hitting eight homers and 16 doubles while stealing eight bases. Those numbers far exceeded his career norms, giving the A’s a chance to sell high.
Even with his career best showing, there are flaws when it comes to Kemp. He is a platoon player, as he has struggled mightily against lefties throughout his career. Defensive metrics are not fond of his glove at second. And, at 30 years old, he is not likely to be much better than he was this year.
But it is possible that Kemp can be another player who found himself later in their career. His strong eye at the plate and solid contact skills have value, as does his ability to play different positions. Although there are not many teams looking for help at second base, Kemp’s versatility could make him an interesting trade chip.
Tony Kemp is a trade chip for the Oakland A’s that has flown under the radar. If they are to trade him away, this is the time to do so.