Athletics

Semien describes what it's like entering first free agency

Athletics

Calling shortstop Marcus Semien a free agent still feels weird, but here we are.

After spending six seasons with the A’s, the 2019 AL MVP finalist finds himself on the market for the first time. But he did say there’s something he can compare it to.

“I feel like free agency is similar to college, where you’re searching for -- you’re waiting for offers where you’re waiting for offers or something to happen, you make your choice," Semien told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday. "As ballplayers, we work hard to get to this point."

The A’s want Semien back. General manager David Forst made that clear. Following Oakland’s elimination from MLB playoffs, Forst said that he’s been in communication with Semien with the goal of bringing him back.

It was a different season, however. Following his sensational 2019 campaign, Semien took a dip in numbers. He struggled with injury, but the 60 games implemented weren’t enough for Semien to be -- well, Semien-y.

“The season we just had was just too short, you know? So it’s probably tough for teams to evaluate players,” Semien said. “I try not to make it a Dooms Day type of situation. I think there are some good players out there that deserve what they’re worth. We’ll see when that happens, a couple of guys already signed, but it’s still an exciting time for my family and I just to see what happens.”

 

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Semien’s agent, Joel Wolfe, told The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser that teams have reached out inquiring about him, saying that they were willing to shift their everyday shortstop in order to accommodate him.

It’s well-deserved for what Semien does on the field, but who he is off the field is what makes the thought of him leaving his hometown sting a little more. But he said he always will call it home.

“It’s special, I feel like the times gone by so quick, you know, six years here," Semien said. "I played three years of college here before, I’ve been here my whole life so to be around people you grew up with who have good things to say about you, it means a lot. I think my parents are most happy about that just to hear good things about their son in their community.

“No matter what happens, if I’m not with Oakland or whatever, this is where I grew up and this is my community,” Semien said. 

Semien, along with former A’s pitcher Tyson Ross, and his brother, Nationals pitcher Joe, continue to give back to their Oakland community. 

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The three have teamed up for a player initiative with Coaching Corps with the area of focus on the local community to work toward increasing the number of Black coaches. Semien and Ross’ reps said while this initiative will have many tactics and efforts within and outside the organization, “it’s a step toward them taking an active role in addressing the declining interest in baseball among young Black people.”

You can find out more at CoachingCorps.com