Marcus Semien agrees to deal with Rangers, who create a sensation in free agency ahead of possible lockout – .

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Marcus Semien agrees to deal with Rangers, who create a sensation in free agency ahead of possible lockout – .


Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.

The Rangers entered the free agency commercial bazaar knowing three things: they had a lot of money to spend, they needed a lot of upgrades, and it didn’t really matter where the upgrades came from. .

That’s why Marcus Semien on Sunday was about to be the perfect first stop.

The club, according to three sources, have agreed to a seven-year contract with Semien. The case is still awaiting a physical. With the baseball collective agreement set to expire at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, there is a deadline to make and announce the deal. If the sport goes into lockdown on Thursday, it would freeze all transactions.

The Rangers would pay Semien $ 175 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The deal would be the second-largest in Rangers history behind the 10-year, $ 252 million deal the team struck with Alex Rodriguez in 2000.

Baseball operations president Jon Daniels and general manager Chris Young offered no confirmation or denial on Sunday. Neither of them responded to requests to speak.

Semien, 31, finished third in the AL MVP vote earlier this month, the second time in the past three years he has finished in the top three. He also won a Golden Glove on second base, his first full season in that position after being traded from Oakland to Toronto. He had previously been a shortstop. And it’s a perfect sequel to that: he could play either for the Rangers, according to two sources.

It all depends on how much money the Rangers invest and if they are able to land another of the elite shortstops in the market. The Rangers spoke with Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, and Irving’s Trevor Story. While Seager and Correa are expected to each receive contracts of around $ 300 million or more, it’s entirely possible the Rangers will end up with Semien and Story for the same cost. There were indications that maybe the Rangers and Seager were pivoting in different directions after a few initial conversations. The Los Angeles Dodgers could renew their efforts to retain Seager.

What is clear: The Rangers are not done. According to two sources, they also struck a deal with veteran outfielder Kole Calhoun on Sunday, made an offer to starting pitcher Jon Gray and investigated the outfield market. While Starling Marte reportedly agreed to a four-year, $ 78 million contract with the New York Mets on Friday, all-rounders Chris Taylor, Nicholas Castellanos and Michael Conforto were still very active.

Calhoun’s terms were unknown. That deal is also pending a physical exam, which is not a trivial detail considering Calhoun was limited to 51 games due to hamstring issues which included surgical repair.

Back to more important things: Semien and what the chord could mean.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Semien deal is this: The Rangers have found a top free agent ready to come to Texas after a 102-game losing season. This could pave the way for more. As long as the Rangers are willing to spend considerably more than the market. Most screenings for Semien had a contract for him in the range of five or six years to around $ 25 million. The average annual value of the Rangers deal is very much in line with that projection of $ 25 million per year, but the seventh year has taken the total value far beyond the market. It has also meant that the Rangers are indeed serious about spending.

If Rangers sign Story, which is expected to get a similar deal, Seager or Correa, Semien could stay second. If the Rangers add another shortstop, it could push incumbent Isiah Kiner-Falefa into a utilitarian role or perhaps make him appealing to a team looking for a defensive upgrade on a short-term commitment. The New York Yankees could fit that profile.

If they don’t add another shortstop, there could be a discussion about how best to deploy Kiner-Falefa and Semien defensively.

It could also open up the possibility for Rangers to hold talks with other clubs about using 2020 first-round pick Justin Foscue as a potential business chip to attract young, established talent. Oakland, for example, has reportedly expressed willingness to listen to first baseman Matt Olson’s offers.

Semien has a career slash line of .256 / .324 / .444 / .768 with a career OPS + of 110, 10 percent above the league average. In 2019 with Oakland, he finished third in the MVP vote after an .892 OPS season. But, it struggled in a pandemic-shortened 2020, hitting just .223 / .305 / .374 / .679. Oakland chose not to offer him a qualifying offer and instead entered into a one-year, $ 18 million contract with Toronto and agreed to move to second base. He responded with a career best year, playing in all 162 Toronto games, hitting 45 home runs and posting an .873 OPS (133 OPS +).

Toronto offered him a post-season qualifying offer of $ 18.4 million, which means the Rangers are set to drop their second draft pick to sign Semien, under current CBA rules. Rules about clearing draft picks could change when a new CBA is reached, but teams that sign players with qualifying offers attached before the deadline expect to lose a pick.

The Rangers had no plans to drop a draft pick when the free agents started, but the market moved faster than expected. This forced the Rangers to make a decision: either keep pace or get passed again.

They chose to both knock quickly and leave the other doors open.

Marcus seeds

Age: 31

Measurable: 6-0, 195

Last year: Played second for the Toronto Blue Jays, narrowly missing the playoffs.

The Skinny: Semien had the second best offensive war in the American League behind his Toronto teammate Vlad Guerrero Jr. After being a pedestrian shortstop to start in Oakland, he improved his glove job considerably (Ron Washington helped his debut there) and won a Golden Glove at second base in 2021. But his power is where it is. Semien hit 45 home runs, produced 102 points, stole 15 goals and was third in the AL in runs scored (again behind teammates Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette) with 115.

High rollers

The Rangers’ deal with Marcus Semien is reportedly worth $ 175 million over seven years. This will make him the second total free agent contract in team history. A look at the five biggest:

Player Total value (millions) Years Agent Commenter
Alex Rodriguez 252 $ 2001-2010 Scott Boras Last three places before the exchange with the Yankees.
Marcus seeds 175 $ 2022-2028 Scott Boras Gives upgrade and options in the middle of the Rangers infield.
Shin Soo Choo 130 $ 2014-2020 Scott Boras A .363 OBP over 7 seasons with the Rangers.
Adrien Beltre 96 $ 2011-2016 Scott Boras Best free agent contract in team history.
Chan Ho Park 65 $ 2002-2006 Scott Boras The worst free agent contract in team history.

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