3 players the Pittsburgh Pirates should consider in free agency before Grapefruit League play starts

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Tony Kemp

The Pittsburgh Pirates should consider a player like Tony Kemp, who, like Belt, also walks a lot, which would help create runs. He would not be an everyday starter, but he is a utility player who has flashes defensively and is likely to rebound in 2024 after struggling with a .209 average in 2023.

Kemp was very unlucky offensively in 2023, with many outcomes that should have been hits ending in outs. That could have been caused by playing in Oakland, but his prospects don’t lie. Kemp has also been connected to the Pirates this offseason.

Kemp can be a solid player who had a very unlucky season in 2023. Playing for a team like the Oakland Athletics in a non-winning environment could have caused some of his hitting woes, but regardless, the hardcore stats say he is due for a major bounce back.

Kemp is very comparable to players like Juan Soto and Tony Gwynn with his ability to not chase the ball often or whiff on it. He also doesn’t strike out pretty much at all and walks at a high rate.

In 2021, many teams were drooling at the chance of signing Kemp due to his ability to walk while never striking out. In 2021, he also was hitting for a high average, and in 2022, he regressed, but he seems to be due for a bounce-back season.

If a trade like the Cabrera one does occur, the package would likely consist of a player like Ji-Hwan Bae. If that trade doesn’t happen, the Pirates should consider adding Kemp to the 40-man roster, at least with a minor league contract and an invite to spring training, over another player like Alika Williams.