The Athletics announced on Monday that the club acquired utilityman Tony Kemp from the Cubs in exchange for minor league infielder Alfonso Rivas.
Kemp, 28, began the 2019 season with the Astros but was sent to the Cubs at the trade deadline for catcher Martín Maldonado. Between both teams, Kemp hit .212/.291/.380 over 279 plate appearances. While he isn’t much in the way of offense, he’s a good base runner and a good defender with lots of versatility.
Rivas, 23, was selected by the A’s in the fourth round of the 2018 draft. He spent most of his 2019 season with High-A Stockton before earning a promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas just before the end of the minor league season. With Stockton, Rivas hit .283/.383/.408 over 509 trips to the plate.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.