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Twins to Sign Andrelton Simmons


 

Next season the SS free agent market will be mega deep with lots of options. So the 1 year contract will not be a drag. Also if we resign Cruz it will likely be for 1 year only so we will have resources next offseason to sign a better power hitting SS.

 

Nope. I just looked in my crystal ball. Lewis is going have an OPS around 1000 in the minors and wow the baseball world with his improvement at SS. He is our starting SS next year.

 

BTW ... Kirilloff comes up the 1st of June and wins rookie of the year. While I am at it... Canterino and Sands are so good that we have a hard time finding enough innings for them / Balazovic and Duran who are also killing it at AAA.

 

Might as well dream big!

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Last October my first version of the 2021 roster included Simmons, so I am delighted to see his addition to the Twins field. Shortly thereafter, however, my thinking switched away from Simmons. At the time my changed rationale was related to leg injuries. Sano, Arraez, Donaldson, and Polanco have all missed significant time due to leg injuries and their performance suffered when they played through or returned from their bouts. Clearly, the physical health of the infield was a concern for management as they approached decisions this winter. The loss of Rosario and Cruz, with questions about Garver's return, also clouded the direction for player choices. It seemed prudent to look for options if the Twins were concerned about the middle infield going forward, and while I felt a healthy Polanco was fine at shortstop in consideration of his past performance, the idea of adding a shortstop if not convinced of a full-on season by Polanco was understandable. My main worry about Simmons is that the Angels, who have vast quantities of resources, deemed him unworthy to return to their team. Simmons did himself no favors, perhaps, by withdrawing at the end of the year, but he has suffered a series of bad ankle injuries as well. It is quite a gamble to sign a player who has been sidelined repeatedly by ankle injuries when your own team has a multitude of leg problems to consider. As a Twins fan I hope this results in a World Series appearance but it does raise questions about issues we all know nothing about: player health, viewpoint and strategy towards winning, and team budget.

I did consider that Twins Daily readers do not believe Simmons presents any high degree of risks based on the comments, but wondered how easily many TD readers dismissed Kluber, a player who also clearly carries some semblance of risk and reward status. Let's hope the shenanigans that apparently are a part of Simmons personality, which I had never heard of until today, are all resolved and flushed away so that baseball is what we see from him. Simmons, potentially, could be quite a signing.

Finally, a number of TD folks have rightly identified the offense as the culprit in many past playoff losses (that is, unless one maintains that all playoff games should be managed toward a 1-0 or 2-1 finish ala Black Jack). So how does Minnesota resolve the loss of Rosario and Cruz? Since October, this has been my biggest concern for 2021. While I love the idea of looking forward to the opportunity to see Kirilloff, Rooker, and Larnach smash baseball in major league stadiums, I wonder if their heroics will match Eddie and Nelson this coming summer. So there is likely another signing yet to occur, soon.

 

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I'm not sure about the 1-year deal. The Twins do not appear to be "all-in" this year, so a longer deal would have made more sense.

 

I can see a 1-year deal being a good thing. Simmons age and health would make him a bit risky on a multi-year deal, plus Royce Lewis is likely going to be ready at some point this season. 

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Love this signing. It's the only thing I've been saying all off-season.

 

I haven't seen this mentioned, but it could also allow for some time with Arraez at first, thus allowing a bit more shifting versus righties. When facing pull-hitting sluggers at Target Field, this could be useful.

 

Also, someone wagged about Cruz could play left with all the defensive protection. Good line, but this seriously makes things easier for 2021 Rookie of the Year Alex Kiriloff.

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Someone, or several, lamented a lack of offense in the playoffs? I think loss of offense in playoff games is fairly normal. You are facing league best pitching and teams. Many of them are in the playoffs because they allowed less runs than the teams that are home.

 

In theory you can Bomba your way through the playoffs, but in the time frame of several long series it ain’t likely to happen. Good pitching needs good defense, ask any pitcher. In the term of a season, it’s hard to have a solid pitching staff with a weak middle. Buxton gave us a strong OF middle, when he could stay on the field. Going from there to the backstop, hmmmmmmm. 
 

Last years first playoff game lacked offense on both sides, until the left side of the Twins IF kicked two ground balls. Yes, 5 bombas would have made this irrelevant, but playoff games just normally do not go in that direction. Winning in baseball with offense is sort of like winning in basketball with the three pointer. It’s effective and entertaining when you are hitting and shooting well.  But when you run into a good defensive team, giddy numbers generally disappear. 

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Bold comment!

I see what you did there. Clever. Truth be told I've been pissed since the twins fired J.J. Hardy and gave the job to that kid Nishioka, who played SS the "Japanese" way. I couldn't be more pleased they want to reinstall an elite defender at short. A major impediment to a championship caliber team is a subpar defender at SS. It's too easy for bean counters to underestimate how SS play, good and bad, affects his teammates emotionally.

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You know, with all the shifting this team now does, how often does the shortstop actually play short?

Instead of having Polanco playing in the shift in the area where the batter is most likely to hit the ball, the Twins will have Simmons playing in the part of the field where statistics, according to numerous variables, indicate the ball is most likely to be hit. That is a major defensive improvement.

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I see what you did there. Clever. Truth be told I've been pissed since the twins fired J.J. Hardy and gave the job to that kid Nishioka, who played SS the "Japanese" way. I couldn't be more pleased they want to reinstall an elite defender at short. A major impediment to a championship caliber team is a subpar defender at SS. It's too easy for bean counters to underestimate how SS play, good and bad, affects his teammates emotionally.

What did Gardy have against Hardy anyhow?

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What did Gardy have against Hardy anyhow?

The company line at the time was they wanted more speed from the position. That didn't smell right at the time and I don't think that was the real reason. I don't know of any other reason but I can speculate. What makes sense to me is this. I know Gardy was a shortstop growing up. He was a star in HS. He was a national college star for the Texas Longhorns. I speculate that he gave SS instruction to Hardy, who was consistently among the top 3 fielding shortstops in the ML. I further speculate that Hardy, as was his bent, wasn't very accepting of the perceived criticism. And probably had somewhat less than a generous response. This is entirely speculative on my part, but is the only thing I can imagine that fits the circumstances.

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Simmons is a *much* better hitter. Everett had a career OPS+ of 66, Simmons is 91.

 

That is encouraging! I do believe simba is at least a capable hitter, but just curious what Everetts ops+ was when we signed him? I imagine those last few years really brought down the average.

 

edit: just looked up Everetts numbers and...wow. the last couple years were indeed terrible, but his season high ops+ was 80. and he never won a gold glove. granted, those aren't a good way to measure defenders, but I guess I remembered him as being "the guy" for ss defense at the time.

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That is encouraging! I do believe simba is at least a capable hitter, but just curious what Everetts ops+ was when we signed him? I imagine those last few years really brought down the average.

 

edit: just looked up Everetts numbers and...wow. the last couple years were indeed terrible, but his season high ops+ was 80. and he never won a gold glove. granted, those aren't a good way to measure defenders, but I guess I remembered him as being "the guy" for ss defense at the time.

Heh, yeah, Everett was terrible with the bat during his best seasons, too.

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