The Oakland Athletics cannot trade Marcus Semien under any circumstances

Oakland Athletics (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
Oakland Athletics (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Athletics will have a major decision to make in the near future regarding shortstop Marcus Semien. But they must resist the temptation to trade him.

The Oakland Athletics are set to enter a new era as a franchise. On the verge of a new stadium deal and a young core of stars, we could soon be in store for a new generation of A’s baseball.But in order to start anew, they must avoid reverting back to past failures.

Shortstop Marcus Semien was one of baseball’s most heartwarming stories in 2019. The Bay Area native was born in San Francisco and played college ball at Cal before making his way to the Oakland Athletics by virtue of a trade back in 2014.

But this hometown success story wasn’t an immediate home run, so to speak.

Semien struggled early on in his A’s career before putting together a few uninspiring seasons at shortstop. Defensively, he improved to become one of the best fielders at his position, but his results at the plate left a lot to be desired.

But then something magical happened. Semien started off strong in 2019 and never slowed down en route to one of the greatest seasons by an A’s batter in team history.

Semien would finish third in American League MVP voting while tying Reggie Jackson‘s franchise record 123 runs. He would also finish with career highs in virtually every offensive category including home runs (33), RBI (92), walks (87), and hits (187).

All of that would sum up to a stellar 8.1 WAR which ranked fourth out of all players in the MLB. He was quite literally one of the best players in baseball and it really came out of nowhere.

The A’s appear to have a new star on their hands and a true cornerstone of the franchise to pair with corner infielders Matt Chapman and Matt Olson going forward. But his incredible season hasn’t removed doubt about his future with the organization.

Because this is the Oakland A’s that we’re talking about and no future is ever certain.

Semien is eligible for his final season of arbitration in 2020 and his salary is expected to be valued somewhere around $13.5 million, per MLBTradeRumors. But the only thing on fans’ minds is a long-term extension.

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Unfortunately, that might be trickier than it sounds.

Renowned baseball media member Peter Gammons told MLB Network last week that the A’s should consider trading Semien as he feels it could be the best move for the franchise.

On many levels, this would be the most “A’s” move imaginable.

Trade away a homegrown, rising superstar a year before you have to pay him because you aren’t willing to pay what he’s worth. We’ve seen similar moves take place in recent years with Josh Donaldson and Sonny Gray.

This wouldn’t be out of character for the A’s.

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But if the Athletics are serious about moving into a new era with a new stadium, this is a move they absolutely cannot make. It would be the final straw for so many fans who’ve seen this organization develop so many young talents only to see them win championships elsewhere.

And with Semien, the pain of his departure would sting even more.

Semien grew up in the Bay and attended university at Cal. He is as local as local gets and a truly remarkable hometown success story. Trading Semien would indicate to fans that nothing has changed and that the A’s are still the A’s of old.

Even if the most likely outcome is an arbitration agreement this season, that would still be a better outcome than flipping him for prospects — despite the incredible haul the team would get with a weak free-agent shortstop class.

Give him another year to prove his worth or lock him up long-term now, no other option should be on the table.

There are plenty of baseball reasons worth considering in this instance, but from a purely business perspective, the A’s would be foolish to consider trading Semien. The damage done to the fanbase would be immeasurable.

And that wouldn’t exactly be an ideal way to welcome your team into a new stadium.

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In order to progress into a new era, the Oakland Athletics must show growth and change. They must not trade Marcus Semien.