Sources: Texas Rangers close to deal with free agent Marcus Semien

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The first big shortstop off the market this winter is Marcus Semien, and he’s taking his talents out west and down south. 

One of the biggest questions entering free agency this winter was what would happen with the shortstop market. Much like the excitement of a few winters ago when both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper were hitting free agency at the same time, this year’s shortstop class was absolutely loaded and looking to shift powers across MLB.

It’s not Corey Seager or Carlos Correa breaking the line and signing first, however. While rumors have been swirling about where either of the two would sign ahead of the work stoppage on December first, it’s Marcus Semien who is on the move first.

According to FanSided’s Robert Murray, the Texas Rangers are adding shortstop Marcus Semien. ESPN’s Jeff Passan backed it up by confirming the deal is for seven years and worth $175 million.

Semian may rank behind both Seager and Correa in the market, but any other year he’d be a top free agent target. The fact that the Rangers swooped in and landed him is very notable, beyond just the fact that the team had money to spend.

What Semien gets paid is sure to set a market for whichever shortstops sign in the immediate aftermath of his deal. It’s also a possible signal that the rest of the market could get moving before the December work stoppage puts a halt to any and all deals that could potentially be on the table.

The work stoppage is the ticking clock that many free agents and teams are looking at when deciding whether or not to agree to a deal. For instance, Kris Bryant is being eyed by the Seattle Mariners — among other teams — but isn’t expected to come to a decision before the work stoppage.

Semien signing won’t guarantee other deals get done, but a luke-warm hot stove might be heating up in a major way.

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