Marcus Semien’s last at-bat of the 2020 season wasn’t particularly momentous, but it was telling.
With the A’s down to their final out, trailing by seven runs in Gane 4 of the American League Division Series, Semien made contact with a two-strike slider and found a patch of grass. It scored a run.
When Khris Davis followed with a strikeout that clinched the Houston Astros’ series win at Dodger Stadium, Semien walked off the field wondering if it might’ve been his last hit in an A’s uniform.
As it turned out, he’d been thinking about it all postseason.
“I thought about that in the wild-card series,” Semien said after the A’s 11-6 loss Thursday. “I’m pretty logistical. I understand what’s going on with everything and our backs were against the wall a couple of times … I took the field in the bottom of the eighth thinking, ‘Is this my last time playing shortstop for this team?’ I don’t know.”
Semien, the A’s emotional leader who finished third in 2019 MVP voting, is a free agent this off-season. The Bay Area native has voiced that he wants to stay in Oakland. His family is in the East Bay, where he grew up.
The upcoming free-agent class is facing unprecedented circumstances, trying to justify a lucrative contract on the back of a 60-game season from which few conclusions can be drawn. Semien could have used a full season to improve his resume.
He batted .223 with a .679 OPS in the regular season, but looked more himself in the postseason, batting .407 with two home runs and three walks. With this short season now complete for Oakland, Semien has to shift into another mode.
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“I’ve never been in this position,” he said. “This is new to me, and I haven’t taken too much time to think about it. But that’s what I was thinking in the bottom of the eighth.”
The A’s have seven free agents heading into the offseason. In addition to Semien, the list includes Liam Hendriks, Joakim Soria, Mike Fiers, Yusmeiro Petit, Robbie Grossman and T.J. McFarland. That’s about half the bullpen. And there are no promises that the A’s are looking to retain most of them.
“Marcus is an incredible person,” said outfielder Mark Canha, who like …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment