St. Louis Cardinals: Pros and cons of 5 free-agent shortstops

Miranda Remaklus
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 24: Paul DeJong #11 of the St. Louis Cardinals fields a ground ball during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Busch Stadium on August 24, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 24: Paul DeJong #11 of the St. Louis Cardinals fields a ground ball during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Busch Stadium on August 24, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 29: Marcus Semien #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during a MLB game against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on September 29, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 29: Marcus Semien #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during a MLB game against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on September 29, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Marcus Semien

With the ability to play either shortstop or second base, Marcus Semien has an underrated skillset that will make him a good get for any team this offseason.

At 31, Semien played the 2021 season with the Toronto Blue Jays on a one-year contract worth $18 million. This is seemingly a bargain once you take a look at his numbers this season. Semien hit .265/334/.538 with a 131 wRC+. He hit 39 doubles, two triples, 66 walks, 15 stolen bases, and a career-high 45 home runs and 115 runs. Semien’s home run total was overshadowed by teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s 48 home runs.

Pros

  • He can play second and short and hit 45 home runs? Impressive. Semien only had eight errors and helped with 86 double plays. At second base, his fielding percentage was .982 while .984 at shortstop.
  • If Mozeliak decides to really mix things up more than he already has this offseason, Semien would be an interesting option. The Cardinals would have a potentially low-cost option to play either second or shortstop. It would allow the team to potentially keep Paul DeJong, and move around Tommy Edman or Edmundo Sosa.  Semien isn’t exactly low-hanging fruit, but he’s for certain an intriguing treat for a team looking to upgrade the line-up and middle infield.

Cons

  • Did Semien have a fluke season? This is something that happens a lot in contract seasons. A player will have an unreal season and earn himself a huge contract. And then he becomes mediocre. The Blue Jays did play a majority of their home games in 2021 at a minor league park in Buffalo, NY.
  • Yes, Semien’s numbers were inflated this season and the contract he gets will likely reflect it. Don’t be surprised to see Semien get another one year contract with a team playing at a major league park to see if his 2021 numbers were the real deal.
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