The Angels shortstop, Andrelton Simmons, is entering the final season of a seven-year, $58 million contract that he signed with the Braves before being traded to Anaheim. Over the past four seasons, he has provided tremendous value to the Halos, accumulating 14.8 fWAR in that time, buoyed by amazing defensive play.
Set to turn 31-years-old this season, general manager Billy Eppler needs to decide if Simmons is still in the team’s long-term plans. While “internal discussions” have been held about signing the shortstop to an extension, there hasn’t been much more to indicate that the two sides are heading down that path.
If a season is played in 2020, and the Angels believe they will be moving on from Simmons, it’s possible they could decide to move him in a deal to garner some assets before losing him for nothing in the offseason.
The counterargument would be if the Angels remain competitive, Simmons could be a key player who helps them make a postseason run. ZiPS projects him to produce 3.1 wins above replacement over a full 2020 season. While the Halos have Luis Rengifo sitting in the wings, he projects better as a second baseman than shortstop, especially in the near-term.
However, if the Angels are clearly out of the race, trading Simmons to a competitive team for a package of assets might be the prudent move to make with a player entering his early thirties at a position that doesn’t age well.