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
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.
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 >
Semien doesn't receive qualifying offer from A's
Nov. 1: The A's didn't extend a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer to Liam Hendriks or Semien prior to Sunday's deadline, and both are now free to sign anywhere without Draft-pick compensation attached to them.
Semien finished third in the American League MVP Award race in 2019, but his OPS dropped more than 200 points to .679 in '20. Meanwhile, fellow free-agent shortstop Didi Gregorius -- who didn't receive a QO from the Phillies -- posted an .827 OPS in 2020. Four-time Gold Glove Award winner Andrelton Simmons is also a free agent, giving teams in the market for a shortstop plenty of options.
Shortstop-needy clubs could also look to the trade market, as Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story and Carlos Correa could be shopped one year before free agency. Corey Seager, the reigning National League Championship Series and World Series MVP, is also due to hit the open market next year.
Semien ranked top FA shortstop
Oct. 29: The Athletic's Keith Law ranked Semien the best shortstop available in free agency this year, and the sixth-best free agent overall (subscription required).
Law puts Semien ahead of Didi Gregorius (No. 8), Andrelton Simmons (No. 14) and other shortstops in his Top 40 free-agent rankings.
Law tries to balance Semien's stellar 2019 season with his down year in 2020, writing that Semien is "almost certainly a better player than he showed in less than half of a full season in 2020."
Law has some concerns that the 2019 season looks like an outlier, but writes of Semien that, "His 2016-18 production still speaks to his being capable of playing shortstop regularly for several more years."
Will Semien get qualifying offer from A's?
Oct. 26: The A's have an interesting decision ahead of them on whether to give Semien (and teammate Liam Hendriks) a one-year qualifying offer for 2021, as MLB Trade Rumors notes.
Semien would have been a prime qualifying-offer candidate coming off his career year in 2019, but his dropoff in 2020 production makes it more of a question entering the offseason.
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman and USA Today's Bob Nightengale suggested on the Big Time Baseball podcast that Semien might get the qualifying offer from the A's. But the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser thinks it might not be realistic.
Semien's future a big offseason question for A's
Oct. 21: The possibility of re-signing Semien is one of the biggest questions driving the A's offseason, writes MLB.com's Martín Gallegos.
Both manager Bob Melvin and the A's front office have expressed a desire for Semien to return.
Gallegos notes that, even beyond Semien's statistics, he is valued by the A's as a clubhouse leader who is the team's longest-tenured player.