Why The Angels should sign Andrelton Simmons to a long-term extension
As previously noted, the Angels have received exceptional value from the trade with Atlanta, seeing Simmons accrue 14.8 fWAR during his time in Anaheim. During that time, he’s managed to hit .280/.327/.396 with 36 home runs, 240 RBI, and a wRC+ of 97, putting him just below league average with the bat.
While his production with the bat has been less than favorable, it hasn’t been outright horrible either. A lot of that value is driven down by a poor power showing at the plate, where he owns an ISO of .116 with the Angels. However, Simmons makes up with that by having the exceptional ability to make contact, as evidenced by his MLB-best strikeout rate of 8.6% since 2016. Also, it is important to note that while his wRC+ of 97 is low, it had increased yearly from 2014 to 2018, before dipping against during an injury-plagued 2019 season.
With all things considered, the value Andrelton Simmons brings to the Angels is and never will be measured with his bat. Rather, Simmons makes his presence felt on the defensive side of the diamond, where is regarded as the best fielding shortstop in baseball. In 4542.2 innings of work at short for the Halos, Simmons has been worth 95 defensive runs saves, a 17.7 UZR/150, and made an incredible 361 plays out-of-zone. The next closest shortstop in the first two categories are Nick Ahmed in DRS (67), Francisco Lindor in UZR/150 (10.9), and he is seventh in OOZ during that span. His DEF rating of 82.3 best Lindor by 13.1 points (69.2).
In terms of potential replacements within the system, the Angels have two highly-rated prospects in Kyren Paris (5th rated) and Arol Vera (10th). However, both are still in Rookie ball and their ETAs are 2023 and 2024 respectively. Neither is close to replacing Simmons in 2021.