Marcus Semien’s market has extended beyond just shortstop-needy teams, as FanSided’s Robert Murray reports that “a few” clubs have inquired about Semien as a second baseman or third baseman. Semien has played exclusively at shortstop over the last six seasons, but he did see some action at both second (29 games) and third (50 games) earlier in his career when he was a member of the White Sox.
It isn’t clear if this was something of an exploratory ask on the part of the interested teams, as there is a notable difference between having interest in Semien primarily as a shortstop but with the flexibility of moving him to other infield spots in a pinch (or in late-game scenarios), and specifically looking at Semien as an everyday option at another infield position. There are lots of more experienced second and third basemen available in free agency, though exploring Semien at another spot might be a more creative way for a team to address either position.
A position switch for Semien seemed like much more of a reality a few seasons ago, when he was struggling with his defense after becoming the Athletics’ full-time shortstop. However, some diligent work on Semien’s part led to a massive improvement, as he posted +26 Defensive Runs Saved and a +5.6 UZR/150 over 2858 2/3 innings at shortstop over the 2018-19 seasons. The UZR/150 metric still liked his work (+4.8) over 451 1/3 innings at short in 2020, but his DRS numbers fell off dramatically, with a -5 mark last season. (Statcast’s Outs Above Average metric has never been too impressed with Semien’s glovework, as he has alternated between a -3 and -4 OAA in each of the last four seasons.)
It could be that 2020 was the start of a defensive decline, though as with every statistic from the past season, it represents a small sample size. The same could be said about Semien’s performance at the plate, as he hit .223/.305/.374 over 236 regular season plate appearances, but he started to heat up in mid-September and then mashed his way to a 1.151 OPS over 31 PA during the playoffs.
All these factors and Semien’s lack of true elite performance outside of the 2019 season make him somewhat of a hard free agent to properly evaluate going forward, as MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently explored. It could be that these defensive inquiries are reflective of a fairly wide difference of opinion on Semien’s value, depending on which team you ask. Whereas some clubs may see Semien as a second baseman or third baseman, others (according to Semien’s agent Joel Wolfe) think highly enough of Semien’s defensive ability that they’re willing to move their current shortstop to another position in order to make room for Semien at his customary place at short.
Murray writes that Semien “works out at [second and third base] during the season and could play either position should the right opportunity present itself.” One would imagine Semien would want to remain at shortstop, all things being equal, though the complicated nature of the overall shortstop market could also impact his choices. Didi Gregorius, Andrelton Simmons, and Korean star Ha-Seong Kim are also free agents, while star names like Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Javier Baez, Jean Segura, and Carlos Correa are all varying degrees of available in trade talks. Marketing himself as not only a shortstop, but a potential multi-position threat who can be moved around the infield could be quite beneficial to Semien in making him stand out from the crowd.
I think the Reds could be in on him
I thought the Reds had a decent third baseman
The reds need a shortstop, so Semien would make sense on that team.
Thought maybe they had one when they let Iggy go last season to the Os
Yes Reds gave him in their list for shortstop
didnt he play some other INF early in his A’s tenure?
We they first got him. Whatever team signs him better have a very good 1B because his problem has always been throwing. Matt Olson a gold glover saved him so many throwing errors.
Olson can make anyone look good there. That being said, would love to see Simmons throwing to Olson.
Great idea. Happy to hear that Simmons will be coming to Oakland.
Not according to Baseball Reference. Only SS.
He played some 3B & 2B in Chicago, but at Oakland he’s been all SS with the very occasional DH appearance.
I’d be guessing at a $30 million three year deal. I’m still hoping he’ll re-sign with my A’s, (along with a few other of our free agents, but that’s for another thread). The (home town) Giants also seemed a good fit – except that Brandon Crawford still has a year left on his contract, and if you put Semien at 2B for a year (replacing Solano) the Giants would be shelling out @$55 million for their infield.
He played much of 2020 through injuries and eventually finished something like a 230 game playing streak. How much the injuries affected his performance is anyone’s guess. He is usually extremely durable, and his fielding steadily improved (the seasons 2015-2016 with Ron Washington’s guidance certainly helped) – I’d be thinking his 2018 levels of performance (4.0 WAR) would be an accurate yardstick, as he certainly benefitted from the juiced ball in 2019.
This is just a personal opinion but unless a player suffered from a really serious injury, I don’t think Front Office analysis will look at 2020 performance levels with much emphasis…
My prediction was Atlanta signs him for 1 year 18 million to play third base. Fits AAs MO
No chance he gets 18 mil for 1 yr from anyone
Maybe not, but Wash would make him a Gold Glover.
I would have said that until Drew Smyly got 11 million
That Smyly contract is still a head scratcher. That is a fair point to follow up with from your orig post, but is Semien worth $18 million at third? Egads. Hard no imo. Atlanta must have money to burn. Glad Uncle Charlie signed w them–now *that* is a guy who deserves the money.
I SERIOUSLY doubt Semien will want to sign a ONE year deal since there are so many great shortstops hitting free agency after this upcoming season. I could see a two year deal (if he does well then he could still sign a decent contract in 2 years), but I DON’T see him signing for more than 8 to 10 million a year at the most. I just think that most teams are leary after his poor 2020. Of course IT ONLY TAKES ONE….
Well, if the Orioles trade of Iggy to the Angels means that there is one less landing spot for a SS, and Kim coming over from Korea means there are 2 less spots, I can definitely see Semien being the most likely to change position.
Not that Semien couldn’t play third base or second base, but his bat fits best at shortstop. His 2019 looks like a fluke because he reverted back to near-career norms in 2020.
Big fan of where bat fits best discussion. As Springer putting up those numbers and playing CF makes him one of best players in baseball. And if he’s not in CF- his stock plummets. Just curious, what do u expect out of a 2nd baseman you don’t get from SS iyo?
Take 2019 out of the equation, is Semien a fulltime starter on a competitive team? Honest question.
He was in 2018 and 2020 so I don’t see why not
He was a MVP finalist in 2019.
Honest question: why even pose this question?
Because 2019 was Semien’s outlier year by a mile. That’s why tball excluded 2019 and asked about 2018 and 2020. I guess the real question is, given tball’s comment, which excluded 2019, why did you highlight 2019, the fluke year?
Because I excluded 2019 from the question Marty. You missed that part.
Because it seriously appears that 2019 was a career year. Nothing he has done otherwise looks that great.
I think it’s a legit question, and I would answer no. His defense has never been worth much. If he can regain offensive prowess, maybe as DH? Or 2B?
Just say it: Blue Jays interested in Marcus Semien at third base
What’s the yuk all about? Not to worry, the Jays don’t want him, neither us fans!
Maybe. Maybe not.
Teams should be looking to use him like a Ben Zobrist or Chris Taylor utility type player.
Prime Zobrist and Taylor are much better hitters than Semien.
Sure, but they better be willing to pay like a full time SS, because that is what it will cost to use him as a utility player!
This type of rumor is why the idea Seager could agree to play 3B if LAD acquires Lindor is not as outlandish as some pretend
This multi positional interest is when there’s only 3 above average, not star, SS on the market. Imagine having to compete with 4 other superstar for the same teams? Showing you have versatility is not going to hurt your market
And if you want a real world example, look no further than Machado
Seager’s move to 3B has been talked about since he was a prospect, though it does now seem the discussion takes place when rumors of the Dodgers trading for or signing an other impact SS, rather than as an inevitability due to his size. That version of the idea seems to have ceased, for the most part.
This post seems to run off as though there are enormous parallels when in fact there are zero. Machado came up as 3b, and was simply viewed as so. Defensively he benefited significantly from positioning upon his Dodgers introduction , but reliance was always on the big arm. Big bat, big arm, good 3b. Simien has been an average”ish” offensive player beyond his 19 year. Not sure how any of this connects to Seager to be honest. Seager’s “move” has always been concerned about his size. The fact of the matter is the bat is real, without question, at a premium position where he’s made the routine play and a bit more. He’s a two way SS on a walk year which is the the major difference.
If we’re just going to be completely honest and not attempting to get fantasy baseball type, the Dodgers greatest need isn’t a lead off guy, or two guy, it’s exactly what Turner brings. The have that facet covered, and it’s more so what’d they’d miss with the balance of Turner. Bets is all but suited as that lead off guy, Lindor more so suited as that two guy like Seager , and Turner to balance out the early swing grinder type. Nobody is asking Seager to move off, because he above average in both aspects unlike Machado & Simien if you honestly compared both.
Streaky player with one above average year at the plate (OPS+ 139) and nearly league average every other year. I think having the ability to bounce around the infield as a utility guy would greatly increase his value. My projection is 2 years and 10 million doritos locos tacos a year with a team option for a third season.
He could play with a B on his bonnet.
Sounds like a nice angle to take to try to justify paying him less.
Hey Marcus what’s happening? Yeah, we don’t really see you as a SS, more of a “super UT type”. So you know that average annual salary you’re looking for? Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and have to ask you to take that down a notch, say about half, and while you’re at it, I’m gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday too. That would be greaaaaaat.
I could see the Brewers maybebeing in on him. They want a third basement, but won’t pay top dollar for one. They also don’t have the prospect capitol to pull off any major trades.
He’d be just what the Cardinals would want!!! Another .225 hitter!!!
Realistically he will hit less since he won’t have Angels pitching inflating his numbers
Returns to CWS to play 2B.
Definitley not with Madrigal on the roster.
2 year deal in Boston at 2b hmmm lol
Rather see DiDi at 2B if Boston is even planning to sign a FA, unless they improve drastically pitching wise, it’d be a waste of $$$
I feel like he’s very very overrated he’s had one good seasons and all the sudden he’s one of the best SS in baseball
A replacement for DJlm at 2b at a discount
I’d think the Yanks are looking at a SS to move Torres back to 2B.
Seguera a “star?” That’s a bit of a stretch.
I assume the giants are asking on him, mainly because the 2nd base situation is solano and Flores both of which are a liability defensively and Crawford has also had less time over the last few years and longo hasn’t been great so if you have a guy to move around and improves your defense that you can flop between 2nd, 3 rd and short you can get them a lot of playing time
If he’d be open to playing 2B full time… he could be an interesting rebound candidate for the Red Sox… assuming his price tag isn’t too high giving him a shot at Fenway Park to see if he can recapture the offense he had a year ago could be an interesting scenario — and assuming he wants to sign a short term deal to rebuild value it could work out for both sides
Cardinals need to knock on that door