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Elephant Rumblings: Will Tony Kemp stay with the A’s?

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
Oct 3, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics pinch hitter Tony Kemp (5) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Los Angeles Angels at RingCentral Coliseum.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!

Tony Kemp is walking up to Rihanna’s “Desperado” as a nod to teammate Chad Pinder, who hits free agency this offseason.

For his own part, Kemp will hit his final year of arbitration next season, and Matt Kawahara at the San Francisco Chronicle noted yesterday that the 30-year-old second baseman and outfielder hopes to remain in green and gold in 2023.

Kemp’s offensive numbers have dropped significantly since last season, but he’s greatly improved through the second half of 2022. He’s also put on some dazzling defensive displays, including this jaw-dropping catch last week in Anaheim.

Heading into yesterday’s game, Kemp’s performance this season had been good for 1.4 fWAR, third among A’s current position players, and since coming to Oakland in 2020 he’s put up 5.1 fWAR.

  • Kemp, Oakland 2020-22: .252/.341/.361, 106 wRC+, 15 HR, 22 SB, 10.5% BB, 12.5% Ks

A’s manager Mark Kotsay remarked that Kemp, a product of the Astros system, is accustomed to playing on winning teams and as a more experienced player on a rebuilding A’s club, he may have felt too much pressure to compensate for the huge exodus of talent that has taken place since last offseason.

“I think the second half, he finally let that go and he’s just being one of the guys and playing the game,” said Kotsay.

So what say ye, AN? Would you have TK back in 2023? And if so, under what terms?

Put me down as a “hell yes!”

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