November is coming to an end, and the Dodgers still haven’t signed the free-agent you desperately want, whoever that may be. There have been a few players that have been attached to LA over the last few weeks, including Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson.
On top of being interested in the biggest free-agents this offseason, LA has also been linked to aquiring Francisco Lindor from the Indians.
Yes, the Dodgers already have their shortstop with Corey Seager, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t move him around in the infield should it help acquire a top-tier player. If the Dodgers are rumored to be in the market for a big-name shortstop, why not take a look at another one that just finished third in MVP voting?
Marcus Semien is coming off the best season of his big-league career, where he finished with a WAR of 8.1. He played in 162 games, while posting a slash line of .285/.369/.522/.892, career highs all across the board. He hit 33 homers, drove in 92 runs, and finished with just under 200 hits. These numbers didn’t go un-noticed, as he finished third in AL MVP voting behind Mike Trout and Alex Bregman.
So, where do the Dodgers come into play?
Semien has one year left of team control, as he will become a free agent in 2021. He’s expected to earn nearly $14 million in arbitration this upcoming year. As we’ve seen from the Oakland A’s in the past, they aren’t the kind of team that will hand out a lot of money for players.
With that being said, could the A’s possibly look to deal Semien while his value is as high as it will ever be? One would think so. If that’s the case, a trade with the Dodgers could be in play.
Being under contract for one more year while costing only $14 million is a luxury the Dodgers could easily afford. They would instantly be acquiring one of the best shortstops in baseball, if not, arguably the best. It would instantly boost the Dodgers’ offense, and give them overall one of the best infields in all of baseball.
Things could get tricky with Seager, whether or not they decide to trade him, or keep him for the 2020 season. However, it could work. There have been talks of moving Seager around in the infield, whether that be to third base or second base. If you move Seager, things could work. Justin Turner has expressed his willingness to move to first, which you then could slot in Max Muncy at either second or third. Obviously there would be a lot of moving parts, but it could be worth it.
Although Semien is coming off a career-year, the price for him likely won’t be as much as it would be for Lindor. This is the first season Semien has finished with an OPS higher than .735 (which is what also makes him a risk). He isn’t going to be 30 until September of next season, but he definitely doesn’t have youth on his side. Depending on how he performs in 2020, it’s tough to really get an understanding of what his market value could potentially be.
With that being said, it’s tough to see Semien costing LA one of their top-tier prospects. He’ll still come with a hefty price, but it should be something reasonable that the Dodgers could afford.
Do the Dodgers need Semien? No, not really. Could they use an offensive upgrade? Absolutely.
I fully expect the Dodgers to make a push at either Rendon or Donaldson, in which we could see some shifting in the infield. However, if the Dodgers strike out on both those players, and the Lindor rumors are just rumors, don’t be surprised if Andrew Friedman gives Billy Beane a call.