When shortstop Marcus Semien stepped out on to the field in the eighth inning of the A's 11-6 Game 4 loss in the AL Division Series, he had a quick thought.
Was this it?
“It was like ‘Is this my last time playing shortstop for this team?’” Semien said after the A's season ended on Thursday. “I dunno, I’ve never been in this position. I’ve always been with Oakland, and before with the White Sox, this is just new to me, haven’t taken that much time to think about all of that stuff -- that was pretty much what I was thinking in the bottom of the eighth.”
Semien will be a free agent after this season and is expected to command a hefty salary on the open market.
His teammates, and manager Bob Melvin, hope it’s back with Oakland.
“I haven’t thought about it yet, I’m pretty close to Marcus, we’ll be in close contact here and I wish him the best whatever happens, obviously we’d love to have him back,” Melvin said after the game. “He’s meant so much to this organization, not only as a player, but as a person, as a leader -- what he means to the community. There are a lot of reasons that we would love to have Marcus back.”
Mark Canha, like Semien, is a Bay Area native. He views Semien as more than a ballplayer, but also a good friend.
“Marcus is an incredible person,” Canha said. “As a friend, as a teammate, as a man. You can’t have a better teammate than Marcus.”
This season wasn’t the most productive for Semien, where he slashed .223/.305/.374 with seven home runs.
His most impressive season was the 2019 campaign, where he finished third in the AL MVP voting. That season he led the league with 747 plate appearances and started in all 162 games at shortstop -- a personal career goal of his.
Semien had to deal with some soreness on his left side this season, which forced him to miss games. But his teammates desperately hope today wasn't his last game and green and gold.
“He’s just a fighter and he’s the guy you want on your team and I sure hope we get him back,” Canha said. “I don’t think that’s lost on anyone, and Marcus is going to be just fine. He’s our captain and he’s a hell of a player and a hell of a friend.”