Semien, who is due to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, may find it difficult to maximize his earnings with the Athletics or another team due to the depressed financial climate expected from an abbreviated or canceled 2020 campaign, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Semien is already guaranteed to receive a full year of service time for 2020 under any circumstance as part of an agreement reached between MLB and MLBPA in late March. However, his original $13 million salary for the delayed regular season will be significantly depleted due to the reduction in games expected, and Semien's ability to begin making up for lost income with his next contract could also be compromised. Slusser reports the veteran shortstop is already a longshot to re-sign with the Athletics on a multi-year deal due to the organization's goal of retaining at least one of Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, but she adds that they could even struggle to extend him a qualifying offer that is still likely to be in the $18 million range due to financial hardship.
Semien will be credited with a full year of service time even if the 2020 season is canceled outright, keeping him on track to become a free agent next offseason, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Semien's impending free-agent status, along with that of teammates such as Liam Hendriks, Mike Fiers and Yusmeiro Petit, was secured as part of a multi-faceted agreement reached last Thursday between MLB and the MLBPA. There's still a stronger likelihood the 2020 regular season is played in some form as opposed to being canceled outright, but this provision gives Semien some peace of mind. If there's ultimately no 2020 campaign, the veteran shortstop will potentially head into the open market on the strength of a career-best 2019 season that saw him slash .285/.369/.522 with 83 extra-base hits (43 doubles, seven triples, 33 home runs) and 92 RBI across 747 plate appearances while appearing in all 162 games.
Semien is hitting .400 with a double, four RBI, four walks and four runs across six spring games. The shortstop will play his final year under team control on a $13 million contract, making his salary second only to Khris Davis on the Athletics. Semien could well be elsewhere in 2021, but after compiling a career-best .285/.369/.522 line last season that included new high-water marks in doubles (43), triples (seven), home runs (33) and RBI (92), he's expected to be a major contributor again this coming season.
Semien agreed to a one-year, $13 million deal with the A's on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. This is his third and final year as an arbitration-eligible player before heading to free agency. He will be Oakland's second-highest paid player, behind Khris Davis ($16.75 million in 2020).
Semien will start at shortstop and bat leadoff Sunday against the Mariners, but he's expected to exit the contest after one plate appearance, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Athletics have already secured home field for their wild-card matchup Wednesday versus the Rays, so Semien and several other regulars will likely get the opportunity to rest up with nothing immediate at stake in the regular-season finale. Semien likely would have been excluded from the lineup entirely, but he may have talked his way into starting so he could play in all 162 games this season. With only one plate appearance on tap, Semien won't be worth including in DFS lineups.