Marcus Semien might see his price drop with COVID-19. While the New York Yankees currently are hot in their pursuit for DJ LeMahieu. I have already made the case that the Yankees probably could make-do without him. You could even argue LeMahieu at 25 million would make them worse. They need a better defensive shortstop at a good price and they need pitching. While I think Andrelton Simmons is a great fit, there is an issue with his health and his bat. If the New York Yankees need a good fielder and a solid hitter, why not go after Marcus Semien?
Marcus Semien Brings Stability
Marcus Semien since 2018 has put up some really good numbers. He’s also only sat out only 10 games in three seasons. In this three-year stretch, he has a 114 wRC+, 115 DRC+, and .335 wOBA despite playing in a poor run-scoring environment.
According to Park Factors, the wOBA factor for right-handed hitters is 0.96 in Oakland compared to a 1.00 wOBA factor at Yankee Stadium. While his OAA isn’t good, that can be pointed to his third baseman Matt Chapman, who is a great defender and has a lot of range which hurts Semien’s OAA. His DRS in the last three years is at 21, and he has a 5.4 UZR/150. Marcus Semien is a solid hitter and a good defender, which is exactly what the New York Yankees need.
Marcus Semien: Fitting a Need At a Good Price
If the Yankees can net a player like Marcus Semien at $15-16 million for a year, they can land themselves an amazing shortstop for cheap. Yes, D.J. LeMahieu was a very good player for the Yankees in his time in The Bronx, but is he worth the money? You’re not paying for past success, you’re paying to get future production. If you want to make the rotation that currently has Jordan Montgomery as the second starter any better, you spend assets on pitching. If you get a 115 wRC+ and above-average defense at shortstop out of Semien over 150 games, you’re getting a top-ten shortstop for sure.
Marcu Semien’s Underrated Offense
Marcus Semien’s offense took a dip in 2020 as he went from a 137 wRC+ down to a 91, but is that because he was bad all year? Actually it was because of a 14-game stretch to start the year with a 24 wRC+. His next 39 games would see him have a 117 wRC+. Over that stretch he also had a 1.4 fWAR, which over 150 games would translate to a 5.4 fWAR. Since July 10th of 2018, Semien has a 124 wRC+ and a .359 wOBA, so I would definitely say he’s a pretty good hitter, and good enough to be counted on in the lineup.
Marcus Semien Would Help Improve the New York Yankees Defense
The New York Yankees adding Marcus Semien would mean they would have league average to slightly below league average defense at second base. At shortstop, they get a very good shortstop, and they still have a solid third baseman in Gio Urshela. This defense also allows for fewer runs to be given up due to poor defensive play. If the Yankees have an average team defense, top-ten pitching staff, and their elite lineup, they’re going to win big. If Marcus Semien’s stock falls because of COVID’s effect on payrolls, the Yankees have to pounce on him.
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