Semien, who had a historic 2021 season with the Toronto Blue Jays highlighted by setting a single-season home run record for second basemen, will provide veteran leadership and a star bat to a Rangers team looking to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
The 31-year-old, who is coming off a one-year, $18-million deal with the Blue Jays -- is a career shortstop who transitioned to second base in Toronto. In 2021, he dominated at the dish, hitting .265/.334/.538 with 45 home runs and 102 RBIs while appearing in all 162 games. For his efforts, Semien was named to the all-star game, the All-MLB first team, finished third in MVP voting and won both a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award.
For the Blue Jays, Semien's departure opens a big hole in the middle of the infield and top of the lineup. However, his contract with the Rangers would have been difficult to match for the Blue Jays with looming deals for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette on the horizon, as well as significant money already committed by the team to George Springer, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Jose Berrios.
While the move is the first big addition of the off-season, ESPN's Jeff Passan doesn't believe the Rangers are done adding, reporting that the club remains interested in signing former Colorado Rockies star shortstop Trevor Story as well.