Oakland Athletics: Should the Athletics' Re-Sign Tony Kemp this Off-Season?

Could the 2024 Off-Season signal the conclusion of Tony Kemp's tenure with the Oakland Athletics? Is it worthwhile to consider re-signing him this off-season?
Oakland Athletics v Chicago White Sox
Oakland Athletics v Chicago White Sox / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

For the first time in his 8-year career, Tony Kemp is set to become a free agent this offseason. Although he may not have been the team's standout player, should the rebuilding Athletics consider pursuing him in free agency to retain some of their diminishing fan support?

Tony Kemp, despite coming off his worst career season with the Athletics, still offers considerable short-term potential. Kemp has excelled in four key metrics: he exhibits discipline by not frequently chasing the ball, demonstrates good contact skills with a low swing-and-miss rate, maintains a low strikeout rate at 9.3%, and boasts an impressive 10.3% walk rate.

In the 117 games he played in 2023, Kemp struggled with a .211 batting average. However, his improved walk rate has positively impacted his overall performance, resulting in an On-Base Percentage of .304. He also managed to hit 5 home runs and drive in 27 RBIs during those games. Kemp's OPS+ of 76, which averages out every MLB player based on 100, suggests that he is performing at a level 24% worse than the average player.

While he may not have been the team's star player, Kemp brings something unique to the table, including veteran leadership and the ability to connect with everyone on the team. It's likely disappointing for him that the team hasn't performed well, and it appears that his own performance has declined over the past few seasons, coinciding with the team barely missing the playoffs in 2021, which happened to be his best season.

Five Bounce-Back Pitchers to Target in Free Agency. dark. Next. Five Bounce-Back Pitchers to Target in Free Agency

Despite the fan love for the franchise, I have doubts about his return to Oakland for the 2024 season. He doesn't deserve to be on a struggling team; he deserves the opportunity to compete for a spot on a postseason contender and have a shot at winning a World Series. It would be sad to see him leave, but it would be even sadder to witness his career end on such a low note, similar to Jed Lowrie in 2022.