This Superstar Free Agent Had The Most Teams Clamoring For Him

Corey Seager signed for the most years and dollars, but according to MLB insider Jeff Passan, there's one top-tier free agent that had more interest, and more teams clamoring to sign him. 

"Of all the available top-tier free agents, Marcus Semien offered the broadest appeal," wrote Passan. And the reason is simple. Impact and affordability (relatively speaking, of course).

"Seager and Carlos Correa, the other vaunted shortstop, would cost significantly more. Trevor Story and Javier Baez, the two other elite shortstops in the class, couldn't match Semien's 45-home run season."

Passan counts at least five teams that were immediately serious bidders on Semien when the GM Meetings began in mid-November. Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and the incumbent contender, the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Given's Semien's age (31), those teams were all prepared to hand out a contract similar to the one the Blue Jays gave to then-31-year-old George Springer a year earlier: 6 years, $150M. 

But once the Rangers added an extra year and another $25M, the writing was on the wall for Semien. He was not only the most coveted, but now the first of the big-name free agents to sign. 7 years, $175M. 

Part of what sold the Rangers, was that Semien told them privately–and surprisingly based on what he'd said publicly—the he'd be willing to remain at second base, where he'd just won a Gold Glove. That was key for Texas, as it allowed them to make their planned 2nd big splash, by nabbing the shortstop Seager for 10 years, $325M. 

The Tigers pivoted to a more affordable Javy Baez ($140M), while the Giants, Mariners and Blue Jays will now have to wait until the end of the work stoppage to add any more offense. 

Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports