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San Francisco Giants: Is Tony Kemp worth a waiver claim?

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 31: Tony Kemp #18 of the Houston Astros is greeted by Alex Bregman #2 after scoring on a hit by Josh Reddick #22 in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 31, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 31: Tony Kemp #18 of the Houston Astros is greeted by Alex Bregman #2 after scoring on a hit by Josh Reddick #22 in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 31, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
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The San Francisco Giants have been active on the waiver wire all season. Will they place a claim on the recently designated Tony Kemp?

As they continue to push for a wild-card berth, the San Francisco Giants could be looking for low-cost ways to upgrade the roster ahead of the trade deadline.

Facing a roster crunch with Carlos Correa set to return from the injured list, the Houston Astros have designated the versatile Tony Kemp for assignment.

The move was announced by several sources, including Jake Kaplan of The Athletic:

The entire American League will have a chance to claim Kemp on the waiver wire before makes his way around to the National League teams, and the Giants recent surge up the standings has moved them back a few spots further in the waiver order.

In other words, there’s no guarantee he will even be available to the Giants.

However, if he does get that far, a claim could make sense on a number of levels.

The 27-year-old is hitting .227/.308/.417 with 15 extra-base hits in 186 plate appearances this season while spending time at second base and in the outfield.

Last year, he hit .263/.351/.392 with 15 doubles, six home runs and nine steals in 295 plate appearances while tallying nearly as many walks (32) as strikeouts (44).

There’s plenty of evidence in his track record to suggest he can be even more of an offensive contributor. He hit .329/.375/.470 with 23 doubles, nine triples and 10 home runs in 552 plate appearances at Triple-A in his last full season in the minors in 2017.

He’s also controllable through the 2023 season, so he would be a potential long-term piece, and the fact that he’s capable of manning center field only further adds to his value.

With slugging corner infielder Zach Green now occupying a spot on the active roster, the team might benefit from cutting loose one-dimensional slugger Tyler Austin in favor of the more versatile Kemp to fill out the bench.

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At the very least it’s a situation worth monitoring in the days to come as the San Francisco Giants continue to look for creative ways to improve their roster.

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