There were indications that Semien was one of the free agents looking to finalize his next contract before the collective agreement expires on December 1, as a lockout and transaction freeze are expected to follow. The Rangers were also known to be one of the more aggressive teams of the offseason, with money to spare and a vested interest in the shortstop market.
So while an agreement between the two parties doesn’t necessarily count as a surprise, the sheer size of the contract is a bit revealing. MLBTR predicted Semien for six years and $ 138 million, as if Semien was already 31, he has been a very durable player throughout his career and is not necessarily as at risk of decline as other players in his age.
Needless to say, the Rangers agreed, giving Semien the biggest contract of any free agent yet this winter. With Semien now locking in $ 175 million, the asking price could only increase for Carlos Correa (27), Corey Seager (28 in April), Trevor Story (who just turned 29) and Javier Baez (29). years on December 1).
It’s also not out of the question that one of those other shortstops will always end up joining Semien in the Texas infield. The Rangers reportedly had an interest in the shortstop market as a whole, with EJeff Passan of SPN reporting that the story is still under study. Theoretically, a scenario exists where Story signs up to play the shortstop, while Semien advances to second, as he did last year with the Blue Jays alongside shortstop Bo Bichette.
The seven-year contract represents a real turn of events for Semien, who struggled through the first six weeks of the shortened 2020 season, limiting his value before becoming a free agent last winter. Semien chose to sign a one-year contract with the Jays in order to restore his market, and the result was a third place in the AL MVP vote. Semien hit .265 / .334 .538 with 45 home runs in his spectacular year, appearing in all 162 games and leading the league with 724 home plate appearances. In addition to Silver Slugger honors, Semien also won a Gold Glove in his first year as a second baseman since 2014.
The Rangers have known Semien very well from his years with Track and Field, and the infielder now returns to the AL West as the veteran face of a new era in Texas baseball. After five straight seasons of losses, president of baseball operations Jon Daniels and general manager Chris Young have indicated the club are prepared to spend a lot of money to get back to competition. The Rangers have so few future payroll commitments on the books that multiple signings seemed likely, and if the team is indeed set to add up to $ 100 million in payroll this winter alone, the average annual value of $ 25 million of Semien’s dollars represents only the first quarter of Texas. “Potential expense.