A's sign Olson, Kemp for '21, avoiding arb

December 3rd, 2020

The A’s on Wednesday agreed to one-year deals with first baseman Matt Olson and infielder Tony Kemp and have tendered contracts to all previously unsigned players on their 40-man roster.

The Olson deal is worth $5 million and is said to be fully guaranteed, while Kemp signed for $1.05 million, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

The A’s now have six arbitration-eligible players remaining on their roster: Chris Bassitt, Mark Canha, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino. Oakland can negotiate with those players until February, when a panel of arbitrators would choose each player’s salary after both player and team submit desired amounts.

Olson was the only A's player to appear in all 60 games last season and batted .195 with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs. The 26-year-old left-handed hitter led the A’s in home runs, RBIs and total bases (89) and committed just one error for the second-best fielding percentage by a first baseman in Athletics history (.998).

Kemp was acquired by the A’s from the Cubs prior to the 2020 season and spent the entire year with Oakland. He batted .247 with five doubles and four RBIs in 49 games but had 15 walks for a career-high .363 on-base percentage. The 29-year-old left-handed hitter committed just one error in 43 games at second base for a .990 fielding percentage that was fifth best among second basemen.  

Oakland recently agreed to deals for 2021 with utility man Chad Pinder and right-hander Burch Smith.