WOULD YOU RATHER extend Andrelton Simmons, trade Andrelton Simmons, or let Simba play out his final year of his contract and hit free agency?
This is genuinely one of, if not the most, interesting decision the Angels have this offseason. Andrelton Simmons is in a unique position right now, and his career going forward is up in the air. Let’s break this down.
Simmons is 30-years old as of this month, and is coming off a season defined by multiple lower body injuries. This is not the first time in his Angels career that Simmons has spent a long period of time unavailable. While he often rehabs quickly, paying big money for someone who plays the way Simmons does and gets injured somewhat regularly is risky.
However, Andrelton Simmons has a future that could very well land him in the Hall of Fame. He is the best defensive player in baseball, and before this season had the two best offensive seasons of his career. So, while this was a down year for Simmons, he was showing significant improvement at the plate the last time he was healthy.
Now you can see why this is such a weird situation, right?
For the Angels, there’s three options. One, you could extend him late this offseason. Obviously Billy Eppler should focus all the funds he has towards free agency first. However, after the Angels have their squad set for 2020, they could turn their focus towards a Simmons extension. This might even be their best bet, as Simmons’ poor 2019 and age could lower his price tag for the Angels.
Second, the Angels could trade him this offseason and move on. This, in my opinion, makes no sense. Luis Rengifo and David Fletcher are both better suited to play second and third base, respectively, and the Angels have no prospects even close to being ready to play shortstop at The Big A.
Third, the Angels could just let this thing play out. I can see why this might make sense. Depending on how the offseason goes, the Angels may not have the money to extend Simmons (and thus raise his cap hit). Waiting another year for Zack Cozart‘s contract to come off the books might be the Angels only choice if they have a pricy free agency.
And would you look at that, we agree again! The majority of Angels fans want Simmons extended this offseason, and there isn’t anyone who believes in that path more than me. Simmons’ elite instincts at shortstop will keep him competent for the rest of his career, if not elite. His bat was better from 2016-2018, and I think there could be a huge rebound next year. The Angels would be wise to extend him while his value is down, and make sure Simmons spend the rest of his career in Anaheim.