Cubs Acquire 1B Prospect Alfonso Rivas from A’s in Tony Kemp Trade

The Cubs finally swung a trade, though it’s not a big one and it doesn’t figure to have an impact on the 2020 season. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Tony Kemp has been traded to the A’s for an undisclosed return.

Slusser indicated in a subsequent tweet that multiple players are involved, though exactly what that means isn’t yet known.

Kemp is on a minimum contract, which made him a good fit for the Cubs, but he’s also out of minor league options. He came across as a really good clubhouse guy and he’s almost certainly better than his .563 OPS and 46 wRC+ with the Cubs indicate, but that lack of roster flexibility just wasn’t going to work out for a team that needs to give some young guys a little run this season.

Aaaaaand here’s the return…

The Cubs acquired 23-year-old first base prospect Alfonso Rivas, a fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft who entered last season as Oakland’s 24th ranked prospect. Rivas got 34 plate appearances as a Triple-A fill-in, but spent most of the season at high-A. He hit eight homers with a .791 OPS and 123 wRC+ over 509 plate appearances at that lower level, displaying a solid plate approach that produced a 13% walk rate.

At just 6-foot-1 and around 190 pounds, the lefty-batting Rivas is a little on the smallish side for a first baseman and probably profiles as more of a platoon guy down the road. He could even shift to a corner outfield spot depending on his progress, which will be largely predicated on his ability to maintain a high-OBP approach.

All told, not a bad deal for the Cubs.

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