Semien leaves Blue Jays to land $175M payday with Rangers

Nov 28 2021, 11:46 pm

Marcus Semien bet on himself by taking a one-year, $18 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays for the 2021 season. After a top-three MVP finish, he parlayed that pillow contract into a $175 million payday.

According to Robert Murray of Fansided.com, Semien reached a long-term deal with the Texas Rangers. Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports the contract is worth $175 million total on a seven-year deal for the veteran infielder.

This deal is the second largest free agent contract in Rangers history, second only to Alex Rodriguez’ monster 10-year pact worth $252 million way back in the year 2000. Semien’s deal works out to an average annual value of $25 million per season.

He wrapped his 2021 campaign with a third place finish in the AL MVP voting; he was awarded a Gold Glove award, a Silver Slugger, named an All-Star, and he was named to the 2021 All-MLB Team.

Semien could not have positioned himself any better after finishing the 2020 regular season with some of the worst numbers of his career. However, he turned in on in the postseason, hitting .533 in the 2020 ALDS against the Houston Astros.

While the Blue Jays would’ve loved to have the veteran infielder return to help mentor this young core, seven years and $175 million was likely a little too steep for their liking. Toronto fans can at least take solace that the 31-year-old didn’t sign with a division rival like the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox.

Semien returns to the American League West, where he spent six seasons as a member of the Oakland Athletics. He finished in the top three of MVP voting during his 2019 season with the Athletics, where Semien played all 162 games on the schedule.

He did the same with the Blue Jays in 2021, suiting up for every game on the calendar this past season. The California native is one of the few remaining iron men of MLB, who misses only a handful of games every year (if ever).

Semien was an integral cog in the Blue Jays’ lineup in 2021 and set a new MLB record with 45 home runs as a second baseman. Semien’s new deal eclipses the Blue Jays’ previous franchise high of $150 million over six years for outfielder George Springer.

Re-upping with the Blue Jays likely would’ve given him a better chance at a World Series title in the short term, but Semien joins a rebuilding Texas Rangers team that finished last in the AL West in 2021 with a 60-102 record.

With a mere $94 million on their payroll in 2021 and with around $50 million on the books for the 2022 season prior to this deal, the Rangers have plenty of money to splash around in free agency. They just made a big statement by signing one of the best infielders on the market.

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