Athletics

Bringing back Semien a top priority for A's front office

Athletics

Marcus Semien reflected for a moment in the eighth inning of the A's 11-6 loss to the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the AL Division Series on Thursday.

“It was like ‘Is this my last time playing shortstop for this team?’” Semien said after the A's had been eliminated from the playoffs. 

If it were up to the A’s, that wouldn’t be the case as the 30-year-old heads into free agency this winter. 

“I exchanged text messages with Marcus last night, just [because] I wasn’t there in person," A’s general manager David Forst said on Friday. "And just told him that from the first day he was here, he’s been an incredible representative of the organization and a great ambassador for the Oakland A’s, and turned himself into a great player.

“I think we’ve had an open line of communication with me and his agent for the last year and I think everybody knew we would get to this point and that will certainly be one of the topics for this offseason,” Forst added. 

Semien finished third in AL MVP voting last season after slashing .285/.369/.522 with 43 doubles, 33 homers and 92 RBI. He played in all 162 games and had a MLB-best 747 plate appearances.

Download and subscribe to the Balk Talk Podcast

He also became the team leader off the field which, in any season is a lot of responsibility, but in an unprecedented season, it’s even more so.

 

Baseball almost didn’t happen this year with the coronavirus pandemic and the war between the Players Association and the league. We were gifted a 60-game season, but not without hiccups.

The A’s specifically had to deal with their own positive coronavirus test, social injustice issues -- in which Semien did a beautiful job spearheading -- and countless doubleheaders and scheduling issues. But Forst wanted to make sure Semien was aware of the impact he had on the organization. 

“I wanted to make sure he knew I appreciated the six years he’s been here," Forst said. "And then, I told him ‘We would love to have you here,’ like anybody would want to have a person and a player in their organization like that going forward. And he and I have talked a lot this season probably more than any other because he was the player rep with all the stuff going on."

After the Game 4 loss, manager Bob Melvin also said he wanted Semien to return, and with the two being especially close, and Bay Area natives, it was an even bigger need.

"I talked to him on the plane," Melvin said. "Look, in a perfect world, he wants to be here, I don’t think there’s any question about that. 

RELATED: A's teammates want Semien to be retained by Oakland

“It’s going to be his choice, there are a lot of factors out there that are still unknown, and he’s very aware of that,” Melvin added. “He’s a smart guy and he’s aware of the situation, and he knows it’ll probably take some time. But he wants to be here and I can speak for all of us, if the circumstance presented itself, we definitely want him back.”

Semien has meant more to the organization than just a strong glove, or production at the plate. And that's a big reason why the A’s want to retain him, as he also has solidified himself as a member of the Bay Area community.