Chicago Cubs

A's trade for veteran Tony Kemp, send minor league infielder to Cubs

A's trade for veteran Tony Kemp, send minor league infielder to Cubs

The A's have found the left-handed bat they coveted this offseason. And he can play multiple positions. 

Tony Kemp has been traded from the Chicago Cubs to Oakland for minor league infielder Alfonso Rivas, the A's announced on Monday. 

Kemp, 28, started the 2019 season with the Houston Astros before being traded to Cubs for catcher Martin Maldonado. Between the two teams, he hit a career-low .212 with a lowly .671 OPS. 

[RELATED: A's rival Astros receive historic penalties for scandal]

The real value to Kemp's game is his speed and defensive versatility. He can play all three outfield positions, as well as second base. 

Kemp, standing 5-foot-6 and 165 pounds, likely will be used off manager Bob Melvin's bench and can be an asset as a pinch-runner.

Rivas, a 23-year-old first baseman, slashed .292/.387/.423 with 9 home runs across two minor league levels last season.

MLB rumors: Free agent Nicholas Castellanos values Giants' culture

MLB rumors: Free agent Nicholas Castellanos values Giants' culture

Unlike recent offseasons, MLB's biggest free agents didn't have to wait forever to put pen to paper this year. But there still are plenty of star players available. 

That includes Nicholas Castellanos, the youngest position player on the open market. The Giants have shown interest in the slugger, and there appears to be mutual between the two sides. 

The Athletic's Sahadev Sharma says Castellanos, 27, is looking for a team who sees him as a leader and more than only a powerful bat. 

"In his discussions with various organizations, Castellanos sees the Giants, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs as three teams who value him for more than just his offense and that treat “clubhouse culture” as more than just T-shirts and talking points," Sharma wrote on Wednesday morning

Castellanos knows the Cubs' culture after being a star in the Windy City the final 51 games of the 2019 season when Chicago acquired him from the Detroit Tigers. The Giants also could face some stiff competition from the Rangers after Texas traded for two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. 

But the Giants might have an advantage. 

Giants general manager Scott Harris was the Cubs' assistant GM last season when Chicago traded for Castellanos. He certainly had a helping hand in that decision, and it's safe to say he's a big fan of the outfielder. 

[RELATED: Why Wood could be perfect fit for Giants with MadBum gone]

Castellanos also immediately would be a big-ticket item for the Giants and seen as the team's star, especially with Madison Bumgarner gone. San Francisco was seen as the highest bidder for Castellanos at the Winter Meetings, and it looks like the two sides are growing their relationship in the right direction. 

This offseason hasn't given Giants fans too many treats, but signing someone like Castellanos could change that in a hurry.

MLB rumors: Giants interested in free-agent slugger Nicholas Castellanos

MLB rumors: Giants interested in free-agent slugger Nicholas Castellanos

Giants fans were scratching their heads and furiously typing Monday night when the team decided to part ways with center fielder Kevin Pillar

The veteran tied for the team lead in homers with 21, made highlight-reel plays on defense and was one of the only players who hit with success at Oracle Park. One day later, San Francisco's front office reportedly is interested in a much more powerful bat in the outfield. 

MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Tuesday that the Giants are showing interest in free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. The 27-year-old could be the perfect fit for the Giants, too. 

Castellanos was an absolute star for the Cubs last season after Chicago acquired him from the Tigers at the July 31 MLB trade deadline. In 51 games with the Cubs, Castellanos hit .321 with 16 homers, 21 doubles and a 1.002 OPS. 

And Giants general manager Scott Harris had a front-row view of Castellanos becoming a pitcher's worst nightmare. Harris was the Cubs' assistant general manager last season, and he certainly had a helping hand in bringing the slugger to the Windy City. 

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said he wants to add power to the Giants' lackluster offense, and that's exactly what Castellanos would do. Between Detroit and Chicago, the veteran hit 27 homers last season, his third straight year with at least 20 long balls. 

Adding a right-handed power bat would be a welcome move, too, especially to Oracle Park. The Giants could place Castellanos at one of the corner outfield positions, with left-handers Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson occupying the other two open spots. Austin Slater could serve as a utility man and another right-handed bat, while lefty Steven Duggar would be a great defensive replacement with speed off the bench. 

Castellanos also played the majority of his time in the field at third base to start his career, and he has expressed a willingness to play first base when needed as well. 

[RELATED: What are Giants' plans in CF after letting Pillar go?]

The Giants ranked 26th in all of baseball last season with only 167 homers as a team. They also ranked 28th in slugging percentage (.392) and runs scored (678). Castellanos would be an instant upgrade offensively and likely wouldn't break the bank. 

It shouldn't take too much convincing from Harris for the Giants to make Castellanos a much richer man.