I appreciate your and the rest of the front offices’ efforts to improve the club. But signing Marcus Semien to a contract extension should outweigh all other transactions.

After his sublime 2019 season, the California native struggled through the truncated 2020 campaign. That may have played a part in him only signing a one-year deal. 

Perhaps Marcus wanted a “prove-it” contract, a reasonable one-season pact ($18M) that would allow him to cash in in 2022. He’s one of the best middle infielders in the game. Now, Mr. Atkins, it’s your turn to prove you’re committed to winning. Back up that Brinks truck and pay the man!

Prime Time

Semien is clearly in his prime. He’s also a great example for the Jays’ young players and is a true pro. 

Bo Bichette has had his share of defensive difficulties but can look to his double-play partner for inspiration. Semien has had his own struggles with the glove. In 2015, he committed 35 errors but worked hard to decrease that total to just nine in 2017. He had a defensive WAR of 2.2 in 2018 and 1.8 in 2019. This season he has made only four errors and has a dWAR of 1.3 already.

This Jays offense has been explosive and has a chance to be in the history books. They have five players with 50 RBI already and the fan base voted three players as All-Star starters. They’re tied for the MLB lead in home runs, are 2nd in batting average, and 4th in runs scored.

This offseason, you swung for the fences by signing George Springer to a six-year, $150 million deal. Now it’s time to double down by inking Semien long-term to keep both veteran stars in blue for the next half-decade. 

You’ve already got a cadre of young talent on hand and under team control for the next several years. Now’s the time to supplement that young, raw talent with experience and savvy. Both Springer and Semien can provide that while still remaining highly productive players.

The Fanbase

As thrilled as Jays nation was when Springer was signed, it reached a fever pitch when Semien was brought in. It showed just how serious you, Mark Shapiro, and the rest of the front office are about winning. 

I know that we, the fans and you, the General Manager, have a complicated relationship. You took over at a difficult time, a time when the team’s competitive window was closing, and fast. You did your best to supplement defections and field a decent team. But the club was aging and we suffered through some tough years following back-to-back ALCS appearances in 2015 and 2016.

That winning window is now back open after an encouraging 2020 season. As pleased as Blue Jays’ fans are with Semien’s arrival and production, we want to cheer for him in person. No team has been more adversely affected by the pandemic than the Jays, as you know. They’ve had to play at two different home stadiums, in front of mostly American, road-team cheering fans. 

Semien is exactly the type of hard-working, family-centered player Jays’ fans want to root for. If only he can hear our cheers next season when the team returns to its rightful home of Toronto.

The Market

There is a lot of buzz about the upcoming free-agent class. The middle infield class, in particular, is impressive. Trevor Story, Javier Baez, Corey Seager, and Carlos Correa are all set to hit the open market.

All of those players are shortstops. Semien too was primarily a shortstop during his time with the Oakland A’s. His willingness to play second base showed off two of his other characteristics, selfishness, and a team-first mentality. 

Semien has already outplayed his current contract and the fanbase can’t stand the sight of seeing him go. 

I’ve already suggested a term keeping him and Springer in the fold for five more years. He might not have quite the reputation of Springer, but it’s close. Five years and, say, $115 million? Sounds about right to me. You know by now that he’s worth it. By the end of the term, he’ll make you look like a trendsetter and a genius.

P.S. Thank you for attempting to address the bullpen by trading for Adam Cimber. I also like adding another left-handed bat in Corey Dickerson. I’m confident that this is just the beginning.

Sincerely, 

Graeme Wallace

Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed it! Check out more of my articles here and other Belly Up content here. Follow me on Twitter here.
About Author

Graeme Wallace

My name is Graeme Wallace and I love Blue Jays baseball! I grew up with the World Series Championship teams in '92 and '93. There were some lean years in between but some good ones too, all leading up to Jose Bautista's epic bat flip in 2015. I'm so excited to be on the Blue Jays beat for Belly Up Sports!

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