Kemp signed a one-year, $1.05 million contract with the Athletics on Tuesday to avoid arbitration, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The 29-year-old was acquired by Oakland during last offseason and had a .247/.363/.301 slash line with five doubles and three stolen bases in 49 games (114 plate appearances) during the shortened season. Kemp unsurprisingly saw most of his time at second base, though he also played some left field and served as the designated hitter. Barring any outside additions, he could enter spring training as the favorite to start at second base on the strong side of a platoon.
Kemp will start at second base and will bat ninth Wednesday against the Rockies. Kemp finds himself in the starting nine for the fourth time in five games, as Tommy La Stella has been seeing more work at third base of late to leave the keystone open. However, if Stephen Piscotty (knee) is able to reclaim his usual spot in right field for this weekend's series with the Giants, Kemp would likely be bumped out of the regular lineup versus right-handed pitching. The 28-year-old still looks like a better fit in AL-only leagues rather than mixed leagues.
Kemp has started four of 11 games since the A's acquired Tommy La Stella at the trade deadline. He is 3-for-9 with a double, a walk and a strikeout over that stretch, so he is playing his new role well, but the days of Kemp working on the strong side of a platoon are over. Look for him to continue to operate in a bench role going forward.
Kemp isn't starting Wednesday's game against the Rangers. Kemp will take a seat with southpaw Kolby Allard on the mound for the Rangers on Wednesday. Franklin Barreto is starting at second base in his absence.
Kemp went 1-for-2 with three runs scored and a walk in Tuesday's 10-3 win over the Rangers. He was also hit by a pitch. Kemp scored all three times he got on base, making a noticeable contribution to the Athletics' big win. He's hit safely in four straight games, going 4-for-14 (2.86) in that span. The second baseman is slashing .250/.384/.283 with one RBI, 11 runs scored and two stolen bases across 74 plate appearances.