When thinking about the best defensive players in Los Angeles Angels history, Andrelton Simmons is one player that certainly comes to mind. He made difficult plays at shortstop look routine, and looked like he could make the routine plays in his sleep. There aren't many shortstops in recent memory who were better defensively than Simmons.
Sure, his bat lagged behind at times, but even then, he was at his best at the plate with the Angels, putting together some quality offensive seasons to go along with his wizardry in the field.
Simmons spent five seasons with the Angels and was quite good from the moment he got to Anaheim until he left after the 2020 season. After brief cameos with the Twins and Cubs Simmons failed to find a MLB job in 2023, and has now officially, according to his representation, announced his retirement after a solid 11-year career.
The Angels trade for Andrelton Simmons is one of their better deals in recent memory
When thinking about recent Angels trades, there's a whole lot more bad than good that comes to mind. The 2023 trade deadline was all bad for the Angels. While it's important to point out the mistakes this organization has made in recent years, they also deserve credit for the moves they got right. The Andrelton Simmons trade is one they got right, undoubtedly.
In the 2015 offseason, the Angels acquired Simmons and catcher Jose Briceno from the Braves in exchange for Erick Aybar, Sean Newcomb, Chris Ellis, and cash considerations. Trading away a key player for a long time with the Angels in Aybar as well as the top prospect at the time in the organization in Newcomb certainly hurt, but getting back arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball with more team control than Aybar made it worthwhile.
Simmons wound up slashing .281/.328/.394 averaging seven home runs and 48 RBI per season with the Angels. More importantly, he took home two Gold Glove awards and in his two seasons in which he was an above-average hitter, he finished in the top-15 in AL MVP voting.
As it turns out, Aybar struggled in half a season with the Braves, and Newcomb never turned into much despite his high prospect status. Overall, the Angels did quite well in this deal.
Simmons wasn't much of a threat offensively, but he's undoubtedly one of the best defenders in the history of this franchise. His 12.1 defensive WAR ranks third in Angels history only behind Bob Boone and Gary Disarcina. That's pretty elite company for Simba, who was a fan favorite during his half-decade with the Halos. His tenure didn't include much winning, but that doesn't take anything away from one of Billy Eppler's best moves as Angels GM.