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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.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 ...

 

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

Maybe you misread what I typed... the team is better now and probably not by an IGsignificant amount.

 

Basically, it’s probable the team just improved significantly, I just worded it in reverse.

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