5 possible free agent suitors for Marcus Semien

MLB Free Agency, Oakland Athletics

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With his agent professing a lot of interest and a big contract, these five teams should have interest in Marcus Semien.

In 2019, Marcus Semien had a breakthrough season for the Oakland A’s. He posted a .285/.369./522 slash-line with 33 home runs, 43 doubles and 92 RBI. He also played all 162 games and notably cut down on errors at shortstop.

Advanced defensive metrics backed up Semien’s improvement defensively, as he accounted for 12 Defensive Runs Saved in 2019. But he actually was a bit better in 2018, with 14 DRS and an 8.3 UZR.

Semien is hitting free agency off a down 2020 at the plate (.223/.305/.374-slash-line over 53 games-236 plate appearances). His defense, albeit in an obvious small sample, dropped off too (-5 Defensive Runs Saved, 2.1 UZR).

As expected, the A’s did not extend Semien an $18.9 million qualifying offer. So he’s hitting what looks to be a tough free agent market, as teams face another season with reduced revenue in 2021, unattached to draft pick compensation had he been given a qualifying offer and rejected it.

The likelihood of a suppressed market has not stopped Semien’s agent Joel Wolfe from putting a high price on his client, via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“We haven’t seen a premier free-agent shortstop anywhere near Marcus’ age (30) or skill level for a very long time,” he said. “We’ve always viewed Marcus as a $100-million-plus player. His pure value in the industry is north of $100 million.”

When speaking on the number of teams interested in Semien, Wolfe said this.

“More than a handful, and they’re still rolling in. I just got another call [Wednesday] from a team that said they’d be willing to move their shortstop to another position. That’s how highly Marcus is viewed.”

Semien ended 2020 strongly, hitting .533 (8-for-15) with 11 total bases in the A’s lone postseason series against the Houston Astros. His market will be a very interesting one to monitor, and the deal he’ll ultimately get is pretty hard to pin down.

However, here are five teams who should have interest in Semien.

Top five free agent suitors for Marcus Semien

5.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants have Brandon Crawford at shortstop, and he’s entering the final year of his contract. A three-time Gold Glover and a two-time All-Star, with an above-average bat (116 OPS+ and 112 wRC+ in 2020), he’s hardly a weak link.

But Crawford has never had an offensive season that touches Semien’s 2019, and his once elite defense has fallen off. He posted 22 Defensive Runs Saved in 2015 and 25 DRS in 2016, followed by 9 DRS In 2017. Since then though, he has accounted for 1, minus-4 and 2 Defensive Runs Saved in the last three seasons with negative UZRs.

The Giants could move Crawford off of shortstop, perhaps to second base where’d he still be an above average offensive player and less of a detriment defensively. Or, with that expiring contract in mind, maybe he’d have some value on the trade market. Semien may like the idea of moving across the Bay, and the Giants seem open to spending a little this offseason.

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