Why Marcus Semien didn't end up with the Red Sox


Watching Marcus Semien play against the Red Sox for the past four days, it is easy to see why Chaim Bloom had some interest in the infielder.

Semien, who accounted fo the only run in Toronto's Game 1 win Saturday, is hitting .274 with an .865 OPS and 26 home runs for one of baseball's hottest teams.

There was a time this offseason that Semien thought his employer for 2021 was going to be the Red Sox. That idea, however, was short-lived thanks to some inside information.

"We talked a little but I think they really liked Kiké (Hernandez) and how he can move around. It was a great fit," Semien told WEEI.com. "Kiké and I both had the same agent so I talked to my agent about it and he said, ‘Yeah, they want to go that route.’ At that point, I wasn’t really sure if I was going to stay at shortstop this year or not. In my mind, I was focusing on shortstop, although ultimately I landed at second base with Toronto, with that being later.

"(The Red Sox) definitely liked me at second base, it seemed. I think once they got Kiké they were set with what they wanted to do."

It's hard to argue that the Red Sox have gotten pretty good bang for their buck with Hernandez, who agreed a two-year, $14 million deal. While the majority of his contributions have somewhat surprisingly come in center field, he has helped cement the top of the Sox' order in the leadoff spot in the past two months, currently carrying the team's third-best WAR (3.5).

While Semien did have to settle for a one-year deal, and position change, things seem to have worked out for him, as well. Not only is he part of a winning team in Toronto, but his value only keeps increasing, with the 30-year-old sharing the best overall WAR of any position player with teammate Vlad Guerrero Jr. and the Dodgers' Max Muncy.

"It was such a unique offseason for us," Semien said. "The position change. One-year deal. What do you want to do? For me, I just wanted to try again for a one-year deal, initially at shortstop but then changing to second base with Toronto.

"It was stressful. You’re looking for a job and you don’t know where you want to be. It’s still a blessing and it’s still baseball. ... You want to know where everybody is at. Being a free agent is something we fight for our entire career to where you get to choose. You line up the offers and the situations and you go from there."

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