The biggest question for the A’s heading into free agency was whether or not Marcus Semien will return to the team after six seasons being their starting shortstop.
Fansided’s Robert Murray reported Friday that Semien “is drawing interest from several teams and a few have asked about his ability to play second or third bases.”
Meanwhile, Semien's agent, Joel Wolfe, told The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser a few weeks ago that some teams have inquired about Semien, and were so interested in him they were willing to move their usual shortstop to another position in order to accommodate him.
Semien is coming off a down season in 2020, slashing just .223/.305/.374. But you have to remember that he was third in AL MVP voting the season prior, so it was a stark difference.
Semien told NBC Sports California recently that the compacted, 60-game season wasn’t enough time for players heading into the market to prove what they were worth. He did, however, say no matter where he ends up, Oakland always will be his home.
“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.”
Wolfe also told Slusser that Semien is worth a $100 million contract, but given the talent at shortstop entering the free-agent market next year, getting such a deal could prove challenging.
Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa and Javier Baez all will be free agents after the 2021 season, which will create an interesting market for shortstops.
Francisco Lindor also is a part of that group, but there’s a chance he gets traded before then.
Semien, a Bay Area native, has become the team’s leader and a staple in the Oakland community.
A’s general manager David Forst made it clear he wants to bring Semien back, and despite a lucrative deal not being in the typical cards for Oakland, the shortstop's down season could make it a more likely reunion.