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Spring Training Games Thread 2021

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:30 PM
One thread to rule them all...   Er. Sorry. Got a bit ahead of myself. (Power does tend to go to one's head.)   Anyway, seein'...
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A 26 man roster is an improvement, but is MLB making a mi...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:10 PM
The world of sports has changed over the years. As a result, leagues have adapted roster sizes to allow for more active players, reserve...
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Jake Odorizzi, What's going on w/ him?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:48 PM
Since the beginning there was a lot of FA talk surrounding Jake &thattherewas a lot of interest from various teams. Thought he'd be g...
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American League Power Rankings, by O/U

Other Baseball Today, 02:13 PM
With spring training in full swing, who are the favorites in the A.L.?15. Baltimore OriolesBetOnline O/U - 63.5 winsThe Orioles are bruta...
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Danny Santana

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:39 PM
Some reports that the Twins are interested in Danny Santana! As a utility guy if he can still play SS and CF I can see how he would fit...
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Twins to Sign Andrelton Simmons

The Twins have found their new shortstop. Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that four-time Gold Glove Award winner Andrelton Simmons and the Twins are in agreement on a one-year, $10.5 million deal.
Image courtesy of © Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Middle 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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109 Comments

This, I like...
    • Twins33, Platoon, Vanimal46 and 3 others like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jan 26 2021 07:33 PM
A perfectly adequate signing. Not my first or even second choice but a fine signing. The team is better now than It was six hours ago and probably not by an insignificant amount.
    • Mike Sixel, nicksaviking, DocBauer and 8 others like this
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ScooterDance
Jan 26 2021 07:33 PM

The left side of our infield is gonna be fire. We have 4 really good players for 3 positions. To quote a super famous eloquent dude ... This, I like...

    • Monkeypaws and rdehring like this
Cool. Can he hit?

Would have preferred to see Baez or Story, but I've been a fan of Simmons since his Atlanta days.

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NatteringNabob
Jan 26 2021 07:36 PM
Seems like a much better value than what Marcus Semien commanded. And, oh, that defense..... Good move!
    • TopGunn#22, mikelink45, DocBauer and 5 others like this
The team got better. I think it’s a good move
    • TopGunn#22, DocBauer and arby58 like this
I like the move. Prefer this to Marwin and I think this safely rules him out.

It looks like Polanco will play more of a utility role or fight over 2B with Arraez. I do think Polanco would be a better 2B in the future so wouldn’t mind that move. I actually prefer him to Arraez longer term. This also sets up nicely for Lewis to take over in 2022
    • denarded, TopGunn#22, mikelink45 and 4 others like this

I like this - given the pitching situation, this team is going to need all the defense they can find, and few do it better than Simmons does.

    • Danchat, Platoon, Vanimal46 and 3 others like this

Nice move, the Twins needed a high-end utility guy and they certainly got a guy who can handle the position. He may only have an OPS of .680 the past two years, but that's with a .271 - he can at least spray some singles around offensively.

 

I don't think this is a huge knock on Polanco, as Adrianza and Gonzalez played a ton last year. A reminder:

 

(games played out of 60)

 

Polanco - 55

Gonzalez - 53

Adrianza - 44

Arraez - 32

 

There is plenty of room for Polanco, Arraez, and Simmons, and I think they compliment each other well. He's a bit pricey at $10.5M, but he should be worth it just for the defensive upgrade he'll provide.

    • Brock Beauchamp, whosafraidofluigirussolo, Minfidel and 3 others like this
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IndianaTwin
Jan 26 2021 07:44 PM

Now they can sign Cruz to play left. Surrounded by Donaldson, Simmons and Buxton, he’d only have to cover about 20 square feet.:jump:

 

    • ashbury, Cap'n Piranha, nicksaviking and 21 others like this

 

A perfectly adequate signing. Not my first or even second choice but a fine signing. The team is better now than It was six hours ago and probably not by an insignificant amount.

 

I agree with the first part of your comment - adequate and not my top choice. But he is a significant improvement. Gonzalez and Adrianza were awful last season. They produced 0.1 WAR while chewing up 300 PA in 60 games. Simmons should be a 2-win improvement on his own.

    • mikelink45 and arby58 like this
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notoriousgod71
Jan 26 2021 07:50 PM

At least he makes contact and can field.

 

Fun fact: I went to a Braves-Yankees game in New Yankee Stadium in 2012 or 13 and we were wearing baseball jerseys and hats on the subway when a young guy asked if we were at the game. We said yes and he said he was teammates with Simmons in college and proceeded to flip through this facebook page and show us pictures of them together.

 

 

    • TopGunn#22, Hosken Bombo Disco, DocBauer and 2 others like this

Compared to what Marcus Semien got, this signing is a steal. 

    • denarded, Twins33, beckmt and 12 others like this
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strumdatjaguar
Jan 26 2021 07:51 PM
This is great. Polanco was defensive liability but is versatile enough to play SS, 2B and DH. Arraez at 2B and DH. I presume one or two of those three can play 3B while Donaldson rests or is at DH. Lewis comes up in the event of injury. Life is good.
    • Minfidel, nmcowboy, Dozier's Glorious Hair and 3 others like this
I love this move. It always seems like defense is underappreciated on winning teams.... look at the late 2000s Twins, whose infield defense was incredible and won some games with great plays. Simmons is highly unappreciated, and is the Ozzie Smith of this era.
    • Minfidel, mikelink45, DocBauer and 6 others like this

 

This is great. Polanco was defensive liability but is versatile enough to play SS, 2B and DH. Arraez at 2B and DH. I presume one or two of those three can play 3B while Donaldson rests or is at DH. Lewis comes up in the event of injury. Life is good.

 

Arraez is definitely more versatile than just playing 2B and DH. I think the Twins will have him play some at LF, 3B, SS, and 2B in 2021. He'll basically take Gonzalez's position.

    • USNMCPO, Major League Ready, Nine of twelve and 1 other like this
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SF Twins Fan
Jan 26 2021 07:59 PM

Hopefully he doesn't quit on the Twins like he did the Angels last year once their chance of reaching the playoffs was basically zero.

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KirbyDome89
Jan 26 2021 08:00 PM

They needed this. When Buxton inevitably misses time, having Polanco, Arraez, and Kepler/Cave as the middle of your defense isn't exactly inspiring. 

 

There shouldn't be any hand wringing over Simmons' bat. He isn't being signed to provide an offensive boost. There are plenty of bats on this roster capable of making up for his average offensive output. 

    • Heiny and Doctor Gast like this

This is great. Polanco was defensive liability but is versatile enough to play SS, 2B and DH. Arraez at 2B and DH. I presume one or two of those three can play 3B while Donaldson rests or is at DH. Lewis comes up in the event of injury. Life is good.

Sano can back up 3B.
    • rv78, Nine of twelve, Heiny and 1 other like this
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strumdatjaguar
Jan 26 2021 08:04 PM
No problem with moving Polanco to 2B and having Arraez as super sub is OK too. No more infielders needed. Travis Blankenhorn and Lewis in reserve. Agree to Sano filling in at 3B in a pinch.

    • nicksaviking, woolywoolhouse, DocBauer and 4 others like this
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LylesCrocodiles
Jan 26 2021 08:10 PM
Just makes so much sense. Gives the team 4 plus defenders at their positions. And I would think they will be close to average at the other 5. Now get Cruz and keep adding quality arms on the cheap. If Simmons Donaldson Buxton can play 120ish games or more and be healthy in September their defense should not be a liability in the playoffs. That’s going to help them so much.
    • tarheeltwinsfan and wabene like this

Darren's tweet confirms that Rocco should be able to keep the egos in check and make this work.
 

    • Twins33, DocBauer, Shaitan and 2 others like this

I think this is exactly what Marwin signed for 10.5 million only it took a two year deal. So if Simmons is replacing Marwin contract wise while upgrading shorstop and providing depth at 2b,ss and 3B it seems like a good fit.

    • Oxtung, LA VIkes Fan, saviking and 1 other like this