After securing several free agents earlier this offseason, it appeared as though the Cincinnati Reds were done spending this winter. However, it seems as though Reds president of baseball operations Nick Krall isn't quite done putting the finishing touches on Cincinnati's 2024 roster.
Robert Murray of FanSided is reporting that the Reds are one of several teams interested in former Oakland Athletics' utility player Tony Kemp. The 31-year-old has spent the past several seasons in the Bay Area, and split his time playing mostly second base and left field.
The Reds, however, are not the only club interesting in adding the versatile Kemp to their roster. According to Murray, the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Toronto Blue Jays are all scoping out Kemp as well.
Reds rumors: Cincy targeting free agent utility player Tony Kemp
Kemp is a durable player, which is certainly something the Reds could use after seeing so many players hit the injured list a year ago. The Reds saw Matt McLain, Jonathan India, Kevin Newman, Joey Votto, and others spend several weeks on the IL during the 2023 season. Having a player like Kemp who can fill in as needed as a nice luxury.
It would also fill the role that Nick Senzel left after the Reds non-tendered the former first-round pick earlier this offseason. Kemp has the ability to play on the infield dirt as well as the outfield grass. He also posted reverse splits in 2023 with a .933 OPS against left-handed pitching. Senzel was manager David Bell's go-to bat against southpaws last season, and the Reds currently do not have such a player on the roster.
If Cincinnati were to sign Kemp to a deal, it would likely be a one-year pact to help fill out the bench. The former fifth-round draft pick would be competing with the likes of Nick Martini, Stuart Fairchild, and Jose Barrero for the 26th spot on the active roster.
Just the fact that Cincinnati is still looking to upgrade the roster this late in the offseason should bring some relief to the Reds fanbase. While the Cincinnati Reds, on paper, look like the team to beat in the NL Central, there are a lot of questions surrounding the youth on the roster. Adding a veteran like Kemp could bring some postseason experience and leadership to the clubhouse.