The highlight of this winter’s impending class of free agents is undoubtedly the group of shortstops – headlined by the likes of Corey Seager and Carlos Correa. But with the Chicago Cubs viewed as a ‘wild card’ in all this, you have to consider the rest of the group, including Trevor Story, former Chicago infielder Javier Baez and last, but not least, Marcus Semien.
Semien certainly doesn’t seem to be viewed in the same light as Correa and Seager, but he’ll still garner more than his fair share of interest this winter after a monster year with the Blue Jays. He played in every single game (he did this in 2019, as well) – and put up 7.1 WAR, hitting a career-high 45 home runs, driving in 102 runs and leading the league with 724 plate appearances.
But if you’re hoping the Cubs can swoop in and land Semien at a relative discount compared to what some of those other names might get in free agency, you’re about to be sorely disappointed with the news the 31-year-old has switched agencies – and is now represented by the Boras Corporation.
Now, we all know the schtick that accompanies Scott Boras – he’s cutthroat and arguably the best agent in the game. He’s known for drawing out free agency for his clients, maximizing the terms they agree to. You’ve seen it time and time again, with a prime example of this coming via Bryce Harper’s foray into free agency that culminated in him signing a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies in early March 2019.
In other words, you can expect Semien to come out of free agency with a massive deal. Boras will undoubtedly look to turn the heat up on teams that miss out on Seager and Correa, portraying Semien as their only alternative capable of putting up MVP-caliber numbers. After all, Story faces some health questions (not to mention the same concerns that come with every guy who leaves Colorado and its hitter-friendly environment) and as a great as Baez is capable of being, he’s probably the streakiest hitter in all of baseball.
Chicago Cubs: Marcus Semien isn’t a perfect fit on the North Side
As noted, the Cubs are viewed as a complete wild card in this year’s loaded class of free agents. They’re rebuilding, yes, but they’re also a large-market team capable of flexing its financial muscle for the guys they want.
But looking at Semien – who will turn 32 next September – it’s harder to make the case. As opposed to some of the other shortstops available who will be in their late 20s, he’s notably older – and that facet alone makes it harder to align with the Cubs’ plans. Sure, we might have been told that this rebuild is going to be quick, but it’s hard to sell me until I see actions that back up the words.
Maybe Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins kick the tires on Semien. But given his new agency and his age, there are definitely better fits out there on the free agent market for a team like Chicago.