Twins to Sign Andrelton Simmons
Image courtesy of © Pool Photo-USA TODAY SportsMiddle infield wasn't an obvious need for the Twins heading into the offseason, but this was a good winter to be shopping for a shortstop. After being primarily connected to Marcus Semien in rumors, the Twins landed defensive wizard Andrelton "Simba" Simmons.
Speaking of Semien, he signed a one-year $18 million deal with the Blue Jays earlier today. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but the timing certainly suggests the Twins had Simmons lined up as a fall-back option leading into today. It will be interesting to hear more about how this came together after the deal becomes official.
Along with four Gold Gloves, Simmons was also the recipient of the 2013 NL Platinum Glove Award. He’s been the best shortstop in baseball for many years now. Sticking with that four-year lookback window, Simmons’ 73 total runs saved according to The Fielding Bible is 18 more than any other player at the position. To put that into perspective, Semien has a grand total of 18 runs saved over that same timeframe. Polanco has -23.
Though known more for his defense, Simmons has posted a batting line of .281/.329/.401 (.730 OPS) over the past four seasons. That’s short of Jorge Polanco’s .277/.335/.435 (.770 OPS) over the same time, but not by much.
Over the 2018 and '19 seasons, Simmons was worth 10.3 WAR, according to FanGraphs. That was tied for 13th among all position players. He followed that up with 1.6 WAR in 103 games in 2019. He only played in 30 games for the Angels last season and hit .297/.346/.356 (.702 OPS).
The Twins needed to add depth of some kind to their middle infield, specifically someone who could handle shortstop. Instead of taking a flyer on another Ehire Adrianza type, they just effectively eliminated any questions over that area of the field. Both Polanco and Luis Arraez are coming off surgeries, and Simmons hasn't been the picture of health himself, but being able to rotate the three of them between the two positions is a luxury not many other teams can boast. At this time it seems safe to assume at least one of the three will also become familiar with third base, just in case.
In addition to being an upgrade defensively, Simmons also compliments his middle infield mates nicely offensively. In the past four seasons, Simmons has posted a .741 OPS against left-handed pitchers while Polanco posted a .698 mark and Arraez has a .665 OPS against southpaws.
FanGraphs currently projects the Twins payroll to be $110 million. Visit TwinsPayroll.com to play around with how the rest of the budget might be used. If you think the Twins are done adding ...
Moments after the Simmons move was announced, Seth, Matthew Taylor and Nate Palmer discussed the signing and what remains for the Twins to do this offseason on a new Offseason Live.
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