Of all the Oakland A’s free agents, Marcus Semien may be the player most likely to return given what he means to the organization.
At this point, the Oakland A’s intentions regarding Marcus Semien are well known. They would love to bring Semien back, provided they can make the finances work. Semien, meanwhile, would love to come back to Oakland, a place that has become home.
Had his free agency hit last year, it would not have been a question that Semien would be gone. He put together an MVP caliber year, one that would have priced him beyond the A’s budget. That made his 2020 campaign all the more important.
There is no reason to rehash the numbers. His 2020 production was back to his previous levels, a somewhat disappointing development for an A’s team desperate for offense. And yet, that was positive for Oakland in another way, making it more likely that Semien could return to the fold.
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Semien also faces a somewhat limited shortstop market. There are few teams looking to bring in a shortstop, making it less likely that he will get the contract he may be looking for. All of these signs certainly lead to the hope that the A’s will be able to bring him back on a team friendly contract.
But Semien also means more than the numbers. He has become a leader in the A’s clubhouse, someone who has earned the respect and admiration of his teammates. Semien has also been a leader off the diamond as well, making himself an important part of the community.
That matters to the A’s. Their slogan ‘Rooted in Oakland’ was built around what the team meant to the community. Having players such as Semien who are a part of the community, and have come to personify that statement, makes a major difference.
Marcus Semien will be an intriguing free agent for a number of teams. But he will not mean as much to any of them as he does to the Oakland A’s.