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MLB free agency: Marcus Semien, Rangers agree to seven-year deal

The Texas Rangers and free agent middle infielder Marcus Semien have agreed to terms on a seven-year deal, CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden confirms. The deal will be for $175 million, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Semien was also a free agent last year and had to settle for a one-year deal with the Blue Jays.

Thanks to betting on himself, Semien — ranked by CBS Sports as the No. 4 free agent available this winter — earned himself a much larger payday this offseason, hitting .265/.334/.538 (133 OPS+) with 39 doubles, two triples, 45 homers, 102 RBI, 115 runs, 15 steals and 7.3 WAR in in 2021. In taking that one year, “show-me” deal, he also agreed to move from shortstop to second base with the Blue Jays. He won the AL Gold Glove at second. In many ways, this looked like Semien’s career year, but he also finished third in AL MVP voting in 2019, posting an even higher WAR that season with the A’s. 

Semien had a down 2020, but for many reasons we can forgive pretty much anyone for a down 2020. The bottom line is that in the last two full seasons, Semien was one of the best players in baseball and he’s shown he can play solid defense at the two up-the-middle infield positions. 

Prior to the Semien signing, the Rangers looked to have Isiah Kiner-Falefa at short and Nick Solak at second. Advanced metrics weren’t kind to Kiner-Falefa and the Rangers were connected to several of the high-profile free agent shortstops so far this offseason.

For the Blue Jays, losing Semien hurts. They had one of the scariest offenses in baseball last season and Semien was a central piece. They look to have the foundation of a powerhouse ballclub around MVP runner-up Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., so losing out on Semien has to be a blow. Still, there’s a lot of offseason left. 

But the big news here is the Rangers getting Semien. They were one of baseball’s worst teams last season at 60-102, but they hardly had any salary carry-over into this offseason and we’re seen them run very high payrolls before. The point is, they weren’t even close to one player away, so the signing of Semien should signal a very aggressive offseason for this club. 




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