MLB Veteran Enters Free Agency After Declining Assignment

MLB's Tony Kemp faces new beginnings in free agency.

by Nouman Rasool
MLB Veteran Enters Free Agency After Declining Assignment
© Justin Berl/Getty Images

Tony Kemp, a seasoned MLB infielder/outfielder, has opted for free agency after passing through waivers without a claim, as announced by the Baltimore Orioles. This move follows his recent designation for assignment and marks another twist in Kemp's professional journey, which continues to evolve despite the challenges of the offseason.

Kemp's baseball odyssey began to turn earlier this year when he signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds in February. However, his stint was short-lived as he was released on March 19, just as teams began trimming their rosters after spring training.

This early release gave Kemp a jumpstart on the free agent market, leading to a swift pickup by the Orioles. Baltimore offered him a guaranteed $1 million contract, although Kemp's tenure there was brief, lasting only five games.

Kemp's Financial Terms

Financially, any team that chooses to sign Kemp would only be responsible for paying him the prorated minimum salary for the time he spends on their major league roster. Meanwhile, the Orioles remain obligated to pay the remainder of his $1 million deal.

Over the past five seasons, Kemp has primarily contributed as a second baseman and left fielder, stepping into the shortstop role for just two innings. His overall performance during this period, captured over 1,498 plate appearances, includes a batting average of .238, an on-base percentage of .329, and a slugging percentage of .342.

Notably, a significant portion of these figures stems from a particularly strong showing in the 2021 season. However, since the start of 2022, Kemp's numbers have seen a decline, with averages dropping to .222/.304/.318 across 987 plate appearances with the Athletics and Orioles.

Despite these recent struggles at the plate, Kemp's ability to play multiple positions, coupled with his left-handed batting and leadership qualities in the clubhouse, continues to attract interest from several MLB teams.

His versatility and experience make him a valuable asset, particularly for clubs looking to bolster their depth amid injuries and other roster shifts. Considering the ongoing challenges faced by the Cincinnati Reds in maintaining their roster depth, a reunion with Kemp could be a practical move for both parties.

As Kemp explores his options in free agency, his proven adaptability and resilience suggest he will likely find a new team willing to leverage his experience and versatility for the upcoming season. This potential move would offer Kemp another opportunity to prove his worth in the major leagues and contribute to a team in need of his diverse skill set.