The Red Sox are among the clubs that have been “involved to some extent in negotiations with free-agent infielder Marcus Semien,” according to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden.
Bowden additionally reports that the Athletics, Philles, and Reds have also been negotiating in some capacity with Semien, while “there are probably more clubs interested due to his versatility, athleticism, and durability.”
Semien, 30, was projected by MLB Trade Rumors back in November to net himself a one-year, $14 million deal this offseason.
The Bay Area native is coming off a 2020 campaign with the Athletics in which he posted an underwhelming .223/.305/.374 slash line in the wake of finishing third in American League MVP voting in 2019. He clubbed just seven home runs and drove in 28 RBI over 53 games played this past season.
That said, Semien improved his stock in October, as he went 11-for-27 (.407) at the plate while putting up an OPS of 1.151 in seven games against the White Sox and Astros in the American League Wild Card and Divisional Series’.
Bowden notes that this “strong postseason helped him” in terms of garnering interest as a free agent in addition to his past reputation as one of the more solid middle infielders in the American League.
The Athletic’s Peter Gammons was the first to report Boston’s interest in Semien late last month, tweeting that the “Sox like him” and view him as a second baseman despite his experience at shortstop with the A’s.
Gammons added that while attending the University of California, Berkeley, Semien was roommates with Red Sox amateur scouting director and former Golden Bear Paul Toboni. So there is a connection there.
At the time of this tweet, Gammons reported that the Red Sox did not yet know how much money it would take to sign Semien, but perhaps that dollar figure is starting to become more clear as spring training quicky approaches.
As currently constructed, the Sox’ 40-man roster is somewhat lousy with infielders capable of playing second base, but none have established themselves of being able to play the position on an everyday basis in the major-leagues. Christian Arroyo and Michael Chavis are among those in the organization that fit this description.
“We definitely have some options internally,” general manager Brian O’Halloran said in December in regards to Boston’s outlook at second base. “But we’re also open-minded. And this is not exclusive to second base. We’re open minded to different ways of improving the club.”
If they were to sign Semien, who has played 29 career games and has logged 236 2/3 career innings at second (none since 2014), to a short-term deal to primarily play that position, then perhaps the Red Sox’ plan would be for the former sixth-round draft pick to serve as somewhat of a bridge to top prospect Jeter Downs.
That all depends on what chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and the rest of Boston’s baseball operations department have in store, though.
ESPN’s Buster Olney did tweet on Tuesday night that the expectation around baseball was that the Red Sox are preparing to make a series of roster moves to upgrade the club’s roster for the 2021 season.
(Picture of Marcus Semien: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)