2:20pm: The Athletics announced that Kemp has been acquired in exchange for minor league infielder Alfonso Rivas. Oakland’s 40-man roster is now up to 38 players.
1:55pm: The Athletics have acquired infielder/outfielder Tony Kemp in a trade with the Cubs, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter links). He’s just one name involved in a multiplayer trade, per Slusser.
Kemp, 28, appeared in 110 games between the Astros and Cubs in 2019, going from the former to the latter in exchange for catcher Martin Maldonado prior to the July 31 trade deadline. In 279 plate appearances, he mustered just a .212/.291/.380 slash with eight homers, nine doubles, four triples and four steals. Long one of Houston’s more intriguing prospects, Kemp has yet to find sustained success at the MLB level. He’ll give the A’s an option to insert into their second base and corner outfield mix, but he’s also out of minor league options, so he’ll need to break camp with the club out of Spring Training or else be moved to another club or designated for assignment.
The A’s have reportedly been on the hunt for some left-handed depth all winter, and Kemp will bring some southpaw-swinging versatility to their bench mix. He’s played all three outfield positions and second base in both the big leagues and in his minor league career. And although he hasn’t hit much in the Majors, Kemp is a lifetime .312/.373/.425 hitter in four Triple-A seasons.
Rivas, 23, was Oakland’s fourth-round pick as recently as 2018. He’s worked mostly as a first baseman but seen brief time in the outfield corners as well. The University of Arizona product has,to this point in his pro career, shown a strong knack for getting on base but minimal power, compiling a .290/.390/.411 slash through 800 professional plate appearances. He’s walked at a 13 percent clip against a 20.5 percent strikeout rate and briefly reached the Triple-A level in 2019 — albeit only in a six-game cameo after skipping over Double-A entirely. An assignment to Double-A with the Cubs to open the 2020 season seems likeliest.