If we are to take the comments of Marcus Semien’s agent at face value, the Oakland A’s will need to find another shortstop for the 2021 season.
The Oakland A’s have made it obvious that they want to keep Marcus Semien in town. The front office has stated that bring him back is one of their priorities , especially given everything that he means both on and off the field. For his part, Semien has reciprocated those feelings, saying that he would like to remain with the A’s.
But baseball is a business. As Semien is now a free agent, and does not have the qualifying offer hanging about his neck like an albatross, he is free to sign anywhere. Understandably, his representation is looking to get the most money for their client possible, even if that means leaving Oakland.
Based on their expectations, that is going to happen. According to Susan Slusser, Semien’s agent, Joel Wolfe, states that his client has a “pure value” that exceeds $100 million.
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Obviously, Semien will not receive a contract worth nearly that much. The current economic landscape in Major League Baseball, and the uncertainty with teams being able to have fans in the stands in 2021, will depress salaries in free agency.
Likewise, Semien’s struggles in 2020 will be in the forefront of minds of any interested teams. While he produced at an MVP level in 2019, Semien took a major step back last season. His 2020 season was a disappointment, as he posted a .223/.305/.374 batting line with nine doubles, seven homers, and four steals. His 91 OPS+ was the lowest of any of his full seasons in the majors.
But all it takes is for one team to believe in that 2019 season. While Semien is not going to make that $100 million his agent claims he is worth, it still shows that Semien’s representation has their eyes on a contract that could be far beyond the A’s comfort level.
The Oakland A’s want Marcus Semien back. They just may not be able to afford his demands.