Entering a slow MLB free-agent market, Tony Kemp wasn’t even ready to discuss his next contract for 2021.

“Me and my wife didn’t even talk about it one time,” said Kemp. “I just didn’t really want to put my headspace there. Did the best I could last season, and it was out of my control.”

Turns out, the A's second baseman didn’t even have to wait deep into December to lock up a one-year contract for next season.

“Definitely blessed to get the deal done, definitely happy to be back in Oakland,” said Kemp. “It was such a great group to be a part of, I’m just ready to get going again.”

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Kemp played in 49 of the A’s 60 regular-season games, hitting .247, which was the highest average for any player on the Opening Day Roster.

He was also sure-handed with the glove at second base.

But the real highlights Kemp produced in 2020 came on the base paths. He was downright evasive on several occasions, including contortionist-type maneuvering in Arlington, and Denver.

“This is just backyard baseball,” said Kemp. “When you’re playing ‘pickle’ on the side of your yard and trying to figure out ways to get out of it.”

“I’ll never concede unless I have to on the base path.”

RELATED: A's Kemp continues conversations on social media about race

The moves Kemp made to avoid tags aren’t really taught in traditional baseball circles.  But they are in his background.


“It kind of goes back to football,” said Kemp, a former high school running back. “Just giving a head move and seeing who will bite with you.”