The Astros have been reportedly in contact with Marcus Semien, but could he be Houston’s next shortstop?
Let’s face it Houston Astros fans, there is a very high possibility that Carlos Correa will not be on the team in 2022. However, I believe there will be a very capable replacement playing shortstop in Houston next year, and his name is Marcus Semien.
While most analysts think that Correa will sign a monster deal somewhere along the lines of 10 years, $300 million, they also think that Semien on the other hand will probably want something along the lines of five years, $145 million.
That is a huge difference, specifically in years. As we know from the George Springer situation, owner Jim Crane does not like hefty long-term deals. He likes to keep it short. A four or five year deal here with Semien solves that issue.
But what about his age?
Yes, I know. He is somewhat old. Correa is 27-years-old, whereas Semien is 31-years-old. This is why he will be targeting a more short-term deal. So theoretically, let’s say you get at least two years of solid production from him, and he bottoms out at 33.
You have two or three years left on his contract that get wasted. No big deal. On the other side, say you sign Correa to a 10 year deal and he bottoms out also at 33, in year seven of his contract. You have the same three wasted years, but at a much higher price tag.
If you don’t care about the money, let’s look at some other angles. Firstly, Correa is somewhat injury prone, missing significant time in 2017, 2018 and 2019. On the other side, Semien is a work horse that has only missed major time in two of his nine seasons.
Marcus is bit weaker at hitting than Correa, but only by a mere .021 in batting average. Again, what a value for the price the Astros would have to pay. On the other side of the ball, Semien puts up a lifetime fielding percentage of .969 compared to Correa’s .981.
They are very close in that stat, even though the media likes to say Semien is a bad fielder. He really is not. He had a 6.6 WAR in 2021, compared to Correa’s 5.8.
In Semien, you get a work horse who is, admittedly, a bit old and could be on the decline soon, but a good fielder and a great hitter no matter what. He is relatively cheap and will be hungry to get his first ring as he has now entered his 30s.
If Correa does decide to move on, I think this is the best deal Crane could make. We will see what happens as the lockout is now only six days away and creeping up on the league. See my article explaining the lockout here.