Andrelton Simmons has a fan in Arte Moreno, but will he stay with the Angels?
Simmons’ contract is up after this season. He had not been approached about his future with the team before he arrived for the Angels’ first full squad workout of the spring Monday.
Angels owner Arte Moreno said the Angels still are determining their stance on Simmons’ contract status. Whether they pursue signing him to a long-term deal will depend on the evaluations of Moreno’s new coaching staff.
“I probably spend more time watching that guy on the field than anybody,” Moreno said. “I love Simmons.”
Data suggest Simmons, 30, has not shown signs of falling behind defensively in spite of his age and recent ankle injuries. He won his fourth Gold Glove in 2018. He missed 53 games recovering from two left ankle sprains last season but still had a case to win the award again. He led all American League shortstops in Ultimate Zone Rating (10.4) and defensive runs saved (14). His rating of 13.3 in the Society of Baseball Research’s defensive index, a system that accounts for about 25% of the Gold Glove selection process, ranked third among all AL players.
In his first public comments on the stadium deal, Angels owner Arte Moreno addressed whether he would replace Angel Stadium or renovate it.
The Angels don’t have a shortstop prospect of Simmons’ caliber ready to ascend. Jeremiah Jackson, the Angels’ top middle-infield prospect, is only 19. He hit .266 with an eye-opening 23 homers in 65 rookie-level games last year, but he also struck out 96 times while drawing only 24 walks in his first full professional season since being drafted out of a Mobile, Ala., high school in the second round in 2018. He is still years away from the major leagues.
If they were to lose Simmons, the Angels likely would have to rely on switch-hitting middle infielder Luis Rengifo. David Fletcher, another versatile player with at least five years of team control remaining, also could replace Simmons. Both are fine defensive players. Fletcher was even a Gold Glove candidate at third base last season.
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