The biggest question mark looming around free agency for the A's is whether or not Marcus Semien will return to the team.
After six seasons with Oakland, and cementing himself in the community as a Bay Area native, the shortstop hits the unprecedented market.
Semien is one of the top names in the free-agency pool, and despite talks that teams are tightening the belt on money amid the coronavirus pandemic, Joel Wolfe, Semien's agent, believes the shortstop is worthy of a nine-figure contract.
“We haven’t seen a premier shortstop anywhere near Marcus’ age or skill level for a very long time,” Wolfe told The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser. “We’ve always viewed Marcus as a $100-million plus player. His pure value in the industry is north of 100 million.”
Wolfe told Slusser that despite Semien having a bit of a down season in 2020, there's still plenty of interest in his client.
“I’m not surprised, because Marcus is such a good player, but based on the amount of doom and gloom we heard in September and October, we’re pleasantly surprised by the number of teams showing interest in him,” Wolfe told Slusser.
Wolfe also told Slusser that there are more than “a handful” of teams that have shown interest in Semien, and one team specifically called the agent this week saying they would be willing to move their current shortstop to another position in order to accommodate Semien on the roster.
The A's front office has made it clear that they wanted to bring Semien back. A’s general manager David Forst texted Semien after the season specifically to let the shortstop know he wants him to return.
In 53 games this compacted season, Semien slashed .223/.305/.374 with seven home runs and 23 RBI. This was following a 2019 campaign where he finished third in AL MVP voting and led the league with 747 plate appearances. He also started in all 162 games at shortstop -- a personal career goal of his.
Those down 2020 numbers actually might make it more of a reality that Semien could sport green and gold once again, as his price might drop into a spot that the A's would be comfortable with. Additionally, there's a really tough shortstop market following the 2021 season, which means Semien might want to make sure he finds his long-term home now.
It's still unclear how much of a bloodbath this offseason will be in free agency due to so many unknowns. As a result, we'll certainly hear much more in the upcoming weeks and months about Semien's future in Oakland.