The Texas Rangers have made a big splash in the free agent market, agreeing to terms with shortstop/second baseman Marcus Semien, per multiple reports. The contract is reported to be for $175 million over seven years.
The club has not confirmed the report.
Semien, 31, immediately provides an offensive boost to a Rangers club that has struggled at the plate over the past two seasons. Semien played all 162 games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021, slashing .265/.334/.538/.873 with 45 home runs and 102 RBI.
Semien also upgrades the Rangers defensively. He has the versatility to play either shortstop or second base, and just won a Gold Glove award for the latter. His two-way prowess has put him in the MVP discussion in two of the past three seasons, finishing third place in 2019 and 2021. It is not clear yet whether Semien will play shortstop or second base.
Semien rejected a one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer from the Blue Jays. Under the guidelines of the current CBA, the Rangers will have to surrender their second-round pick and $500,000 from their international bonus po
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The Rangers set out to upgrade their roster this offseason to accelerate their rebuild. General manager Chris Young and president of baseball operations Jon Daniels both wanted to begin adding impact veterans to their roster prior to the 2022 season to coincide with a farm system that is expected to be churning out some of its top prospects over the next couple years.
The seven-year, $175 million contract is the longest the Rangers have issued to a free agent since the club signed Shin-Soo Choo to a seven-year, $130 million deal prior to the 2014 season. Even so, this contract should not tie the Rangers down to prevent them from making more additions this offseason. They are still looking to upgrade their starting rotation, and multiple sources indicate the Rangers are still in the Trevor Story sweepstakes.
With Semien's projected $25 million AAV, it only puts the Rangers at an estimated $75 million payroll next season. In October, Daniels said the club's budget would be "consistent with the market and fan base of this size". Dallas-Fort Worth is a top-five sports market.
Rangers To Sign OF Kole Calhoun
Less than an hour after reports of the agreement with Semien, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported the Rangers have also agreed to terms with outfielder Kole Calhoun. It is a one-year, $5.2 million contract with an option for 2023, according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
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