Marcus Semien Rumors | MLB.com (twitter.com)

A core member of the stellar A’s infield that anchored the team on its playoff runs the last three seasons, Marcus Semien is a free agent for the first time after six seasons in Oakland. Semien was an American League MVP finalist in 2019, when he played all 162 games and hit .285 with 33 home runs and 92 RBIs. Though his offensive numbers dipped in 2020 — he hit .223 with seven homers and 23 RBIs in 53 games — Semien bounced back with an excellent postseason, hitting .407/.484/.667 with two homers and a 1.151 OPS in the A’s seven games.

Below is a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the 30-year-old shortstop.

Report: Multiple clubs negotiating with Semien

Jan. 13: The Athletic’s Jim Bowden reports that the Phillies, Reds, Red Sox and A’s all have been involved in negotiations with Semien, who spent the past six seasons with Oakland.

The Phillies, Reds and A’s are presumably eyeing the 30-year-old for shortstop, but the Red Sox have Xander Bogaerts at short and could be looking at Semien to handle second base.

Semien didn’t log a single inning at a position other than shortstop during his time with the A’s, but he saw time at second and third over two years with the White Sox before joining Oakland.

Semien struggled in the 2020 regular season, hitting .223/.305/.374 with seven homers, but he rebounded to go 11-for-27 (.407) with two home runs and a 1.151 OPS in the postseason. He finished third in the American League MVP Award race the year before, when he produced 8.9 Wins Above Replacement (according to Baseball-Reference).

This team could be Semien’s best fit

Dec. 26: MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince sums up the best fits for each remaining free agent from the top 25, doling out only one free agent per team. Even though the Dodgers already have a shortstop in Corey Seager, he zeroes in on the reigning champs as a best fit for Semien. He would provide a long-term option for the Dodgers moving forward, given that Seager is a free agent after 2021, and if there’s any team that can get creative with position changes, it’s the Dodgers.

Report: Red Sox could be interested in Semien at 2B

Dec. 24: Semien ranks among the best available shortstops this winter, but is there a chance he would change positions for his next club?

He might need to if he signs with the Red Sox, who appear to have at least some interest in Semien according to a report by The Athletic’s Peter Gammons.

Though Xander Bogaerts’ name has been involved in trade rumors, he’s still ensconced as Boston’s staring shortstop for the time being. The Red Sox also have Rafael Devers penciled in at third base, meaning Semien would likely slot in at second — a position he hasn’t logged any significant time at since 2014. That doesn’t make this the most likely fit, though FanSided’s Robert Murray reported earlier this month that a handful of clubs have already inquired with Semien if he would be willing to change positions. Semien’s prior experience around the infield, almost exclusively from his earlier days with the White Sox, might be giving him market leverage as a versatile player.

Semien could turn things around in Philly

Dec. 24: The A’s want Semien back in 2021, but the best fit for the free-agent shortstop might be in Philadelphia.

That’s what former general manager Jim Bowden thinks, as he matches Semien with the Phillies in an article for The Athletic (subscription required).

Bowden puts more stock in Semien’s strong 2020 postseason performance (.407 batting average, 1.151 OPS) than his struggles in the regular season (.223 average, .679 OPS). But he also writes that Philadelphia might be a better place for Semien to rebuild his value than Oakland.

“The Phillies’ small ballpark might be a better fit for him if he wants to sign a short-term deal to prove to suitors that his subpar year was a fluke and rebuild his value for next offseason,” Bowden writes.

Passan: Semien “a name to keep an eye on”

Dec. 14: We haven’t heard much from Semien’s market to this point, but could that be changing soon? In his Monday column (subscription required), ESPN’s Jeff Passan highlights Semien as a “name to keep an eye on in the coming days,” with his affordable next contract (in relation to next year’s superclass of free-agent shortstops in Javier Báez, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager and Trevor Story) being a potential selling point. Passan lists the Dodgers, Mets, Jays, Phillies, Astros, Cubs, Yankees, Giants, Angels, Rangers and Tigers as teams that could enter the bidding for the 2019 AL MVP finalist.

Could Semien be part of Mets’ ‘ideal path’ to contention?

Dec. 8: It was less than two years ago when former A’s infielder Jed Lowrie signed with the Mets in a move that was supposed to bolster New York’s infield. Obviously that move didn’t work out, but could another Oakland infield star follow in Lowrie’s footsteps?

In laying out steps for the Mets’ “ideal path” this offseason, The Athletic’s Tim Britton (subscription required) suggests that the Amazins sign Semien — who Britton feels could be “the biggest potential bargain in free agency.” A perplexing down year may have positioned Semien to look for a one-year “pillow” contract that gives him a chance to re-establish his value for another free-agency go-around next offseason, Britton notes, while the massive shortstop class due to hit free agency next year (Javier Báez, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager and Trevor Story) might also persuade Semien to log some innings at third base, thus increasing his value via his versatility. That would keep the incumbent Andrés Giménez at shortstop, with Semien as a luxury insurance plan to slide over there if Giménez struggles.

The Mets still have Amed Rosario on the roster with plans to use him as a utility player in 2021, but adding Semien could necessitate a trade to reduce the club’s surplus of Major League-caliber shortstops.

Angels find their shortstop with trade for Iglesias

Dec. 2: With Andrelton Simmons hitting free agency, the Angels were one of the clubs with a hole at shortstop at the start of this offseason. Consider that hole plugged.

The Halos have acquired José Iglesias from the Orioles, bringing aboard a player who hit .373 with three homers and a .956 OPS over 39 games this past season.

Owed just $3.5 million in 2021, Iglesias fills a need for the Angels without breaking the bank, allowing the club to potentially make a run at some of the higher-priced free agents on the market.

That said, we can probably rule out the Angels as a destination for the top two free-agent shortstops, Semien and Didi Gregorius. DJ LeMahieu is also an unlikely target, with David Fletcher at second base and Anthony Rendon at third.

The Reds, Phillies, Yankees, A’s and Giants are among the playoff hopefuls who could look to add a shortstop, though some clubs may prefer to hold off until next offseason, when Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Corey Seager, Carlos Correa and Javier Báez can become free agents.

Sources: Reds interested in Semien

Nov. 30: As expected, free-agent shortstop Marcus Semien is among Cincinnati’s potential shortstop targets — but he’s certainly not alone.

MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Reds are “prioritizing the addition” of a starting shortstop and Semien is on their radar, along with fellow free agents Andrelton Simmons and Didi Gregorius. It doesn’t stop there, though, as Cincinnati is also said to be exploring trade opportunities for Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor and Colorado’s Trevor Story.

Freddy Galvis served as the Reds’ shortstop in 2020, hitting .220 with a .712 OPS and seven homers in 47 games before hitting free agency.

Reds could be aggressive in SS market

Nov. 14: Cincinnati general manager Nick Krall identified shortstop as the club’s biggest need in a call with reporters on Friday. Departed free agent Freddy Galvis struggled to a .712 OPS this year, and Krall acknowledged that top prospect José Garcia could probably use more seasoning before he inherits the club’s shortstop job full-time.

With a lack of internal options, the Reds could be one of the more aggressive teams in the shortstop market – seemingly good news for Semien. More >



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