MLB free agency: Blue Jays sign infielder Marcus Semien, per report

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A week after signing George Springer to a long-term deal, the Toronto Blue Jays landed another one of the free-agent market’s top position players. According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Blue Jays have agreed to terms with infielder Marcus Semien on a one-year contract worth $18 million. 

Semien, who is expected to shift from shortstop to second base for Toronto, entered the winter ranked by CBS Sports as the 11th best free agent. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Semien failed to repeat or build upon his 2019, when he finished third in the American League in Most Valuable Player Award voting. Instead his OPS+, like many millennials this year, regressed into the 90s; a familiar place for it, as it has resided there in six of the past seven seasons. That isn’t to suggest Semien is the same player he was back in 2014. He walks more frequently, punches out less frequently, and has worked hard to improve his defense. It’s worth noting that his batting average on balls in play was well below his norm, suggesting his production ought to improve even if everything else remains the same. Semien turned 30 in September, so the length of his contract could eventually necessitate a position change.

With Semien in the fold, the Blue Jays are now able to run out a most-days starting lineup that looks a little something like this:

  1. CF George Springer
  2. 2B Marcus Semien
  3. SS Bo Bichette
  4. 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  5. DH Teoscar Hernandez
  6. 1B Rowdy Tellez
  7. LF Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
  8. RF Randal Grichuk
  9. C Alejandro Kirk

The Blue Jays could swap in Cavan Biggio and/or Danny Jansen in a few of those spots. Still, it’s a strong-looking group for a team hoping to return to the postseason.

It’s worth noting that Semien’s signing comes days after the Blue Jays failed to close a deal with outfielder Michael Brantley. Brantley returned to the Houston Astros on a two-year agreement instead.

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