Former Athletics second baseman released by Reds

The Cincinnati Reds have released former Athletics' second baseman Tony Kemp

San Diego Padres v Oakland Athletics
San Diego Padres v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Former Oakland Athletics second baseman Tony Kemp has been cut loose by the Cincinnati Reds. Kemp had signed a minor league deal with the Reds earlier in the offseason and had been working in big league camp for the past couple weeks.

He'd been playing fairly well, posting a slash line of .333/.391/.619 with a homer and 5 RBI in parts of 8 games. He'd still been showing strong plate discipline as well, posting just 4 strikeouts and 2 walks.

The biggest issue is the Reds' lack of need for infielders. Yes, third base prospect Noelvi Marte, who was expected to open the year as the Reds' starting third baseman, will miss the first 80 games of the season due to a positive PED test. But their infield is extremely crowded and Kemp's chances of making the opening day roster were exceedingly thin.

They had just signed Jeimer Candelario, who is coming off a career year split between the Nationals and the Cubs. They also have superstar-in-training Elly De La Cruz, Matt McClain, Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Jonathan India all vying for playing time in the infield, and a crowded outfield as well.

The Reds are a bit of a dark horse candidate to win the NL Central and it's largely due to the crop of young, talented infielders on the roster. As good of a teammate and positive presence Kemp can be, he just didn't quite fit what the Reds need at the moment.

There's still hope that Kemp will sign with another organization. There are a few places that could use a second baseman or utility infielder ahead of Opening Day. The Dodgers in particular seem to be struggling with their middle infield options, and there are plenty of teams like the White Sox who probably don't have enough major league quality players in the lineup.

Kemp was a solid player in Oakland, and by all accounts was an even better person. With any luck, there's a team out there that will scoop him up and allow him to continue being a productive player.