Reds sign versatile utility player as insurance for Matt McLain

The Reds roster just got a little more crowded.

Oakland Athletics infielder Tony Kemp
Oakland Athletics infielder Tony Kemp / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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Despite the fact that his team seems to be overflowing with talent at virtually every position, Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations said he wasn't going to close the door to any additional signings this offseason.

On Friday, Krall added yet another player to the Reds already crowded roster. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Reds signed utility player Tony Kemp to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.

Kemp is a versatile veteran who'll join the competition for one of those elusive roster spots. Though he experienced a down-year with the Oakland Athletics in 2023, Kemp is well-regarded veteran with the ability to play multiple positions all over the diamond.

Reds sign versatile utility player as insurance for Matt McLain

Kemp will join the likes of Josh Harrison and Erik Gonzalez as a non-roster invitee looking to secure a spot on the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster. There were whispers earlier this offseason regarding the Reds interest in Kemp.

Though Kemp is a left-handed hitter, he produced reverse splits in 2023. Kemp posted a .933 OPS against southpaws last season, but was only able to muster a .553 OPS when facing right-handed pitching.

Kemp's signing also offers the Reds some added insurance in the event that Matt McLain's oblique injury turns out to be more than anticipated. It was reported earlier this week that McLain was going to re-evaluated after taking five to seven days off following another injury to his oblique. That's the same type of injury that sidelined McLain for the final month-plus of his rookie season.

Whether Tony Kemp is used on the infield dirt or outfield grass, Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell will surely be glad to have another veteran in the clubhouse. With Cactus League play beginning this weekend, Reds fans will soon learn the plan for Kemp moving forward.

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