Should the Angels extend Andrelton Simmons?

Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Angels, Andrelton Simmons
Andrelton Simmons, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Why the Angels should not extend Andrelton Simmons

Most of that value was accrued during the first three seasons of the deal and much of that was gained on the defensive side of the field. An exceptional fielder, Simmons is somewhat of flashback to the days of guys like Omar Vizquel and Ozzie Smith, where the glove-first shortstop was regarded with a value despite what he brought to the team with the bat.

However, there are a few red flags that the Angels will want to be wary of in regards to both.

From a fielding standpoint, while Simmons is still stellar with the glove, 2019 was definitely a slip in that department. His 13.8 UZR/150 and his 12 defensive runs saved were both career-lows, and his 0.5 defensive runs above average barely ranked higher than the mid-range. A lot of that had to do with the ankle injuries he dealt with throughout the year and limited him to just 102 games. With that said, ankle injuries to a shortstop turning 30-years-old are hard to look past.

That all lead back to his offensive numbers. While his value is cast mostly with his glove, if that continues to dip, it will exasperate the perception of his hitting skills. His lack of power is tremendously difficult to overlook, especially during the offensive explosion being seen throughout the league. Simmons’ ISO is 26th lowest among qualifying hitters since 2016 and his hard-hit rate of 30.9% is the 57th lowest among qualifying hitters since 2016. Meanwhile, his soft hit rate of 20.6% is the 43rd highest among qualifying hitters since 2016.

If his production continues to slide, the Angels may be forced to look for either a cheaper solution or possibly look to other free agents for alternatives. In the case of the former, the team does have David Fletcher on the MLB roster. A former shortstop in his own right and a solid fielder, the more affordable Fletcher would be a similar defense-first player, but may not provide much on offense. That could open up space for Luis Rengifo to take over the second base duties.

In terms of potential replacements on the market next winter, both Didi Gregorius and Marcus Semien could be options, and both present offensive upgrades while providing solid defensive productivity. However, neither will represent any cost savings to the Halos either.