Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons seems like a logical trade chip, but it appears that the Toronto Blue Jays are no longer in the mix.
As an impending free agent on a would-be seller, shortstop Andrelton Simmons would appear to be a solid trade target with the deadline approaching. However, one reportedly interested team is seemingly moving on to other options.
Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Toronto Blue Jays have shifted their focus from a trade for Andrelton Simmons and are now instead connected to infielder Jonathan Villar of the Miami Marlins.
We first heard that the Blue Jays were a potential fit for the Blue Jays early last week. An injury to Bo Bichette, the incumbent and future shortstop of the Jays, created an opportunity for a rental player like Simmons. The team has seen lackluster results from the likes of Joe Panik, Santiago Espinonal, and Brandon Drury, with latter being optioned late last week.
The pivot to Villar may indicate that Toronto is looking for a player with a bit more positional versatility, allowing a move to third base if or when Bichette returns from injury. Simmons, who is a four-time Gold Glove winner at shortstop has never taken the field at any other position. Meanwhile, Villar has seen time at nearly every position on the diamond outside of first base, catcher, and pitcher.
As for Andrelton Simmons, that may remove the possibility of a move heading into the trade deadline. The demand for a rental shortstop is generally limited to teams in need, but with the Blue Jays removed from the picture, that further limits his market.
After missing nearly a month due to an ankle sprain, Simmons returned to action on August 21st. In his seven games since his return, he’s hit .346/.433/.346 and scored six runs. He’s slashing .289/.357/.316 on the season and has just one extra-base hit in 38 at-bats in 2020.
The Angels traded his double-play partner, Tommy La Stella, over the weekend. In a weird coincidence, the player they received in return was Franklin Barreto. Barreto was a former top prospect of the Blue Jays, who they in turn flipped as the center-piece in the package sent to Oakland for Josh Donaldson in 2014.
The Angels will have until 4 pm Eastern Time to complete any trades before the MLB Trade Deadline. Stay tuned as we keep you informed throughout the day.