Oakland A’s free agent exodus should end with Marcus Semien

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 07: Marcus Semien #10 of the Oakland Athletics rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 07: Marcus Semien #10 of the Oakland Athletics rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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The Oakland A’s tendency to not spend on their free agents needs to end. Marcus Semien should be the player that they bring back.

We have seen the same situation play out time and again with the Oakland A’s. Their players reach free agency, and in most circumstances, leave for greener pastures and a larger bank account. With ten players in free agency this year, and the ever present budgetary limitations, that is expected to be the case once again, especially for their more productive players.

But at some point, this needs to change. The constant conveyer belt of bargain free agents and youngsters needs to come to an end, with the A’s keeping their top players and fan favorites. Marcus Semien should be the player to end this practice.

From a pure production standpoint, Semien is replaceable. He had only one season of above average production over the course of his career, doing so in his MVP caliber 2019 campaign. Some team may be willing to gamble that he can perform at that level again and overspend to bring him in.

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But some things go beyond the boxscore. Semien has been a key part of the A’s in the clubhouse and in the community. He stepped up as a leader this past season, taking an active part in making certain that the team abided by the league’s COVID guidelines. As the longest tenured player on the team, he has also served as a mentor for the younger players.

Of course, Semien’s production helps. He has been able to routinely fill up the stat line over the course of a season, with a .254/.322/.425 batting line, hitting 115 homers and 170 doubles while stealing 66 bases. He has also worked to make himself at least viable defensively at short, even if he will never be a Gold Glove candidate.

For Oakland, these decisions are made based on the numbers and their budget. If a cheaper alternative can provide similar results, then that is the player they will target. But sometimes, it is worth the extra money to show a commitment to the players on the roster. This is one of those times.

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The Oakland A’s have to stop the conveyer belt at some point. Marcus Semien is the perfect player to end that practice with.

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