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.
Per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have been discussing the idea of playing the 2020 season entirely in Arizona. The state has 10 spring training parks as well as Chase Field, home to the Diamondbacks. MLB suspended the 2020 season last month as the U.S. began to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This certainly comes as no surprise as commissioner Rob Manfred has suggested the need to potentially get “creative” if MLB is to have a season. Other ideas have included running the season deep into the fall, hosting games in mostly warm-weather states, and making use of frequent doubleheaders.
For many reasons, the U.S. has not done well to date dealing with the pandemic, so it is quite optimistic to expect sports to return at any point in the near future. That being said, agent Scott Boras, who spoke to Blum, suggested baseball’s return could provide “a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment.” He added that that product would be “inspirational to our country.”
MLB and all of its associated interests stand to lose significant amounts of money the longer the season is delayed, which is why many are champing at the bit for the schedule to resume. Presumably, any resumption of the schedule would require that games not be played in front of fans.