Red Sox Hot Stove Targets: Marcus Semien at second base next season?

Couch Guy Sports will go through the many questions facing the Red Sox in a series of Hot Stove Targets articles looking at the many players who could be with the club next season.

Marcus Semien had a career year with the Toronto Blue Jays last season. The incumbent free agent is set to have an opportunity to cash in this offseason. Is it possibly the potential former Blue Jays slugger lands in Boston?

The Red Sox are coming off a successful season. Boston who went to the ALCS only to see their season end two wins from the World Series.

Chaim Bloom will now look to build on that successful run and Semien could fit into his plans.

Marcus Semien is a massive upgrade at second base

Image courtesy of The Spun

The Red Sox and Semien make a lot of sense, the 31-year old infielder is an option for second base. Last season, Boston employed Kiké Hernandez, Christian Arroyo and Jose Iglesias at second base. Hernandez was drastically better in centerfield and Arroyo missed a chunk of time with injuries and  landing on COVID-19 injured list.

Semien’s power bat would add more fire power to the Red Sox potent lineup. The Blue Jays slugger played in all 162 games hitting .265 with 42 home runs and driving in 102 RBIs. In addition to those impressive offensive numbers, Semien slashed .334/.538/.873 in his only season north of the border.

Semien signed a one-year, $18 million “prove it” deal with the Blue Jays after a disappointing 2020 campaign. The veteran did just that with Toronto and will now look to cash in this winter.

The Red Sox showed interest in Marcus Semien last offseason

Boston showed interest in Semien when he was a free agent last offseason. Semien explained back in August why he didn’t end up with the Sox.

“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’s Rob Bradford. “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.”

Boston would now welcome Semien to play second base to allow Hernandez to be their everyday center fielder. Arroyo was an important member of the Red Sox, but relegating him as a backup role player makes more sense.

Marcus Semien provides protection if Xander Bogaerts departs at the end of next season

In addition to possibly adding Semien, he could provide depth if the Red Sox lose current All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts next offseason. Boston could sign Semien to a smaller deal, from a years perspective but pay him at a higher AAV.

It’s worth noting that Bogaerts can only opt-out of his deal at the end of next season. Bloom could look to find depth and a backfill now to protect against the possibility of losing him for nothing.

The Red Sox should look to lock up Bogaerts this offseason to avoid that distraction. Other shortstops around the league have received monster deals from their teams like Fernando Tatís Jr. and Francisco Lindor. Bogaerts likely would want to follow suit. He has already stated he wants to remain with the Red Sox for the remainder of his career but years and dollars will be the ultimate factor.


Bloom should look to explore the idea of Semien to play second base in the short-term while providing a bridge at shortstop if Bogaerts exits.

Peter Gammons of The Athletic wrote back in September that Boston is “unlikely” to sign a free agent who will demand a $200 million contract this coming offseason.

Gammons added that Semien “is seemingly the one mega signee that they’d consider, especially as they have weathered the COVID economy well enough to have done very well maintaining and building corporate sponsorships.”

The farm system has viable replacements for the future but these prospects aren’t ready to contribute right now. The elite free agent shortstop market provides options for Boston and Semien or even the villainous Carlos Correa are all suitable options for the Sox.

– Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique on Twitter)

Feature image courtesy of The Lines

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