The Boston Red Sox saw over the weekend why Marcus Semien was a key acquisition for the Toronto Blue Jays this past offseason. On Saturday, the slugging infielder crushed a walk-off home run off of Sox closer Matt Barnes.
After a down 2020, Semien has been worth every penny for Toronto this year. He's slashing .274/.337/.528 with 26 home runs and 68 RBI in 110 games, helping the Blue Jays boast one of MLB's most fearsome lineups.
That offensive production was close to joining the Red Sox last winter, but chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. opted to go in a different direction.
"We talked a little but I think they really liked Kiké (Hernandez) and how he can move around. It was a great fit," Semien told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. "Kiké and I both had the same agent so I talked to my agent about it and he said, ‘Yeah, they want to go that route.’ At that point, I wasn’t really sure if I was going to stay at shortstop this year or not. In my mind, I was focusing on shortstop, although ultimately I landed at second base with Toronto, with that being later.
"(The Red Sox) definitely liked me at second base, it seemed. I think once they got Kiké they were set with what they wanted to do."
Boston signed Hernandez to a two-year deal worth $14 million days before Toronto inked Semien to a one-year, $18 million contract. While Semien has raked this season, Hernandez's contributions to the Red Sox can't be overlooked. The super utility man has played 71 games in center field, 27 games at second base and six games at shortstop while producing 15 homers and a .783 OPS.
It's safe to say neither American League East club is regretting their decision.
The Red Sox now trail the first-place Tampa Bay Rays by four games in the division. As for the Blue Jays, they're seven games back after taking three of four from Boston over the weekend.