Infielder Marcus Semien and the Texas Rangers agree to a seven-year contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Sunday.
The deal is worth $ 175 million, a source said.
After struggling in the shortened 2020 campaign with the Oakland Athletics, Semien bet on himself last offseason, accepting a one-year offer from the Toronto Blue Jays in a bid to rebuild his value and re-enter free agency. He bet well. Semien moved to second base with Toronto and responded with one of the best seasons of second base power in Major League history, hitting .265 / .334 / .538 with 45 home runs, breaking Brian Dozier’s record. of home runs for a second baseman.
The move to second base also went smoothly, as Semien won a Gold Glove. He played every game for the second time in three seasons (and has missed just 10 games in the last four) and led the majors with 86. extra bases. While playing in the shadow of teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. throughout the season, Semien finished second in the American League in Baseball-Reference WAR behind Shohei Ohtani and third in FanGraphs WAR behind Ohtani and Guerrero, then finished third in the MVP, matching his 2019 result, and making him the only player with two MVP results in the top three in the past three seasons.
Even adding up to 2020, when he hit .223, Semien leads all position players in both bWAR and fWAR since 2019.
To cash in on his great season, Semien hired Scott Boras as his new agent. He is entering his 31-year season after serving them in September and reportedly entered free agency in pursuit of a $ 200 million contract. The last position player that age (or older) to receive that much in free agency was Robinson Canó, who signed a 10-year, $ 240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners before the 2014 season.
Semien’s approach at the plate was a little different in 2021 than it was during his 2019 breakout season, when he hit .285 / .369 / .522 with 33 home runs. He walked more that season, but became more aggressive in 2021, especially on fastballs, as 36 of his 45 home runs were hit on straight pitches. That approach left him more vulnerable to breakouts, as he hit .193 against curves and sliders compared to .246 in 2019.
An evaluator told ESPN’s Buster Olney in October that “I know [los números de poder de Semien] were up [en 2021], but I wouldn’t expect that to continue. He’s not really a home run hitter. “Maybe, but Semien’s approach became more power-oriented. He became more adept at pulling the ball and lifting it (he hit 39 of his home runs, many of them near the line) and increased its rate increased from 25.5% in 2019 to 36.7%.
Originally selected by the University of California Chicago White Sox, Semien returned to the Bay Area when the Athletics acquired him in 2015. He is famously struggling defensively earlier that season at shortstop, committing 24 errors in late June ( finished the season with 35 errors, the most in a season since 2000). However, thanks to work with Athletics coach Ron Washington, Semien became an above-average shortstop, finishing with more than 17 Defensive Runs saves combined during the 2016-19 seasons.
He was even better at second base, making Semien attractive to teams looking for a player in a middle position, although Semien had stated that he preferred to return to shortstop. He also has a great reputation as a person and teammate, prompting an insider to tell Olney: “Every night I would put my head on the pillow knowing that the money I spent to sign him will be worth it.”