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#pounditSunday, July 21, 2024

Ex-Astros champion signs with Reds

A Cincinnati Reds hat

The Reds wear special hats for the 4th of July Weekend during the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Friday, July 2, 2021. An RBI double scoring two runs off the bat of Joey Votto secured the win for the Reds. Mandatory Credit: Sam Greene/The Enquirer via Imagn Content Services, LLC

A few years after they had Wade Miley in town, the Cincinnati Reds are trying their luck on another Houston Astros alum.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported on Friday that the Reds have agreed to a deal with veteran outfielder Tony Kemp. They are giving a minor-league deal with an MLB camp invite to the 32-year-old Kemp.

Kemp began his career with the Houston Astros in 2016 and won the 2017 World Series with them (though he did not participate in any playoff action that year). He got traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2019 as part of the Martin Maldonado deal and then was traded again to the Oakland Athletics several months later. Though Kemp was a .279 hitter with an .800 OPS in 2021, he had a down year in 2023, batting .209 with a .607 OPS in 124 appearances for the A’s.

With 35 total home runs over eight career seasons, Kemp is about as much of a power hitter as Glass Joe. But he can bring speed on the basepaths, nifty defense at both left field and second base (with a knack for amazing grabs), and a generally durable everyday presence. This comes after the Reds also added another veteran depth piece earlier this month.

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