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Monday, February 24, 2020

MLBTR: A’s place their Betts on Semien

[block]So, even as the Red Sox determined they couldn’t “sit on [their] hands and lose” Betts without adequate compensation after the coming season, the Athletics decided to keep Semien in roughly analogous circumstances. Well, analogous from a roster talent and postseason odds perspective. The low-budget A’s are the sort of team that’s typically forced to take its Betts-type players off the table on the rationale set forth by Henry, even if it stings, in order to preserve a long-term flow of talent and keep up with deeper-pocketed rivals. Instead, they’re letting their version of Betts ride.

It’s quite the juxtaposition. Perhaps the A’s still have designs on a Semien extension, but it’s far from inevitable and we haven’t heard indication that a deal is particularly likely. And if one is to be struck, it’ll require convincing him to forego free agency … which will assuredly require the kind of price that makes the A’s squirm (even if they can now finally see a new ballpark on the horizon). A mid-summer trade fall-back is available but isn’t exactly plan A. All things considered, in relative terms, the situation is quite similar to that which would’ve faced the Red Sox on Betts.[/block]

Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: February 24, 2020 at 07:04 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: marcus semien, mookie betts, oakland athletics, red sox

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   1. majorflaw Posted: February 24, 2020 at 09:23 PM (#5926268)
“Perhaps the A’s still have designs on a Semien extension . . . “

Or perhaps they recognize the difference between losing a player whose career OPS+ is 106 and one whose career OPS+ is 134. (Not that OPS+ is definitive.). A draft pick might be fair, if not immediate, compensation for losing the former. A competitive organization should be able to survive the loss of the former.

“A mid-summer trade fall-back is available but isn’t exactly plan A.”

Actually, I suspect it is. They didn’t like the market over the offseason and they want another shot at it, in the hope that in the heat of a pennant race somebody in need will make a satisfactory offer. Not necessarily a great or a foolproof plan, but it is a plan.
   2. I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape Posted: February 24, 2020 at 09:49 PM (#5926270)
Actually, I suspect it is. They didn’t like the market over the offseason and they want another shot at it, in the hope that in the heat of a pennant race somebody in need will make a satisfactory offer. Not necessarily a great or a foolproof plan, but it is a plan.


Why in the world do you say that? Now, if they completely miss expectations and are far out of the playoff race, I fully expect him to be on the move. However, if they're at all close, there's no way he goes anywhere.

This year will be as close as the A's are to going 'all-in' since 2014, and I like the shape of this team a lot more than that one going into the season.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: February 24, 2020 at 09:49 PM (#5926271)
Actually, I suspect it is

No I'm pretty sure that, coming off a 97-win season, Plan A is to make the playoffs. If the season is not going well, then a Semien trade becomes new Plan A.

I recently mentioned that (news to me) fangraphs provides 3-year ZiPS projections. While obviously nobody expects a repeat of 2019, ZiPS does believe in at least 2018 and even something in between. So for 2020-2022, Semien's projection is 5.3/5.0/4.5 WAR with a 350ish wOBA in each year. That's nearly 3 WAR behind Betts but very much a major player. He'll be turning 30 for his first FA year but I get the sense that, right now, he could be had "cheap." If he puts up that 5 WAR this year, probably not so cheap but I'll still guess closer to 5/$140 than 7/$210 (how's that for a bold prediction!)

Not to go all Snapper on y'all but the A's will be getting their $200+ M in central/shared revenue and have a payroll below $100 M this year and projected for less than $100 M next year. Semien is quite affordable. Chapman and Olson aren't even scheduled for FA until 2024. I think I'd extend Semien right now (as long as my baseball experts agreed with the ZiPS projections).
   4. DCA Posted: February 24, 2020 at 10:11 PM (#5926273)
Semien's also from the east bay. He may be more willing to give a hometown discount since it's his actual home town.

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