We knew there was a chance Marcus Semien wouldn’t return to Oakland in 2021, but now it appears certain.
The shortstop agreed to a one-year, $18 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. ESPN's Jeff Passan was first with the report, citing sources familiar with the deal.
This is a loss all around for the A’s, who have to depart with Semien after six years with the club. The Oakland native told NBC Sports California back in November the 2020 that the compacted season with just 60 games wasn’t enough for those heading into free agency to show what they were worth.
In 2019, Semien led the league in plate appearances with 747 and started at shortstop in all 162 games. His .285/.369/.522 line with an .892 OPS and 33 home runs was good enough to earn third place in AL MVP voting.
His numbers did dip last season, but by the end, A’s general manager David Forst made it clear he wanted Semien to return. They were interested in a reunion, but it appears both sides could not come to an agreement.
Semien hit for a .223 average with 47 hits in 53 games in 2020.
With that said, Semien did say back in November no matter what happens, the A’s always will hold a special place in his heart.
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“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.