Oakland Athletics: Potential Free Agent Targets this Offseason

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Alexei Ramirez, Shortstop, Chicago White Sox

Aug 23, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexi Ramirez (10) takes off his helmet after getting doubled off at first in the second inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Seattle won 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most glaring deficiencies on the 2015 Oakland squad was the horrendous defensive play of shortstop Marcus Semien. Semien was the big piece the A’s received in the Samardzija deal. Many believed that due to his production in the minor leagues, he can actually be the future at the shortstop position in Oakland.

Looking at his offensive numbers, then those people may seem somewhat right. In his first year Semien has batted .252 with 11 home runs, 32 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases. His four triples are tied for 22nd in the AL.

Where Semien has had issues though is with his extremely pedestrian defensive play. He has 32 errors on the year, which not only ranks as the worst among all shortstops in the AL, but in the entire MLB. The second highest error prone shortstop is the Washington Nationals’ Ian Desmond, at 23.

Obviously, errors have plagued Semien’s first year with the A’s. While the team could stick by him and hope he works out his defensive woes in the offseason, the team can also look to sign someone better defensively to handle the shortstop position.

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One player they can look at Alexi Ramirez, who would be formerly of the Chicago White Sox. First things first, he has a $10 million dollar option the Sox can pick up, but at an aging 37 years old, the team may decline.

Ramirez has been very solid on defense throughout his eight year career. The most errors he accounted for in a single season is a reasonable 22 — with a low of 11 in his rookie season. Ramirez can come in and be a defensive wizard at shortstop, something Semien couldn’t accomplish.

He isn’t too shabby on the offensive side of the ball either. For his career, he is hitting .273 with 107 home runs, 528 RBI’s, and 133 stolen bases. He was an All Star and Silver Slugger in 2014, and would be a big upgrade in the middle of the offense.

If anything, Ramirez can be an extremely above average place holder. He may be aging, but he hasn’t shown any signs of decline. If the team still feels that Semien is the shortstop of the future then they can at least let Ramirez come in and be the team’s primary shortstop until Semien is ready.

Next: Justin Upton