The Cubs named shortstop Andrelton Simmons for assignment on Saturday, the announced club. The move came shortly after he was activated from the 10-day IL. He had been out since mid-July with a sprained right shoulder.
Simmons never really took off in Chicago after signing a one-year, $4 million deal with the Cubs in the offseason. He struggled with shoulder pain from the jump and had just 85 plate appearances this season. In this small sample, he recorded a meager .173/.244/.187 batting line and only managed one extra hit.
While Simmons has been described as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game since his debut in 2012, his offensive output – he sports a career 86 wRC+ – has fallen off a cliff since leaving the Angels after the 2020 season. In about a full season of action (536 AP), he’s produced at a .216/.277/.261 clip, good for a wRC+ of just 51.
Still, provided his shoulder doesn’t prove a lingering issue, Simmons could still nab a contender as a high-end defensive option, but likely not before clearing waivers. He won four Gold Glove awards and finished second (to Carlos Correa) in the 2021 Fielding Bible Defensive Rankings. In fact, since 2013 he has only finished below third place once and won the award for six consecutive seasons (2013-2018). Advanced metrics support Simmons’ continued defensive value; per FanGraphs, Simmons has racked up 19 DRS (defensive runs saved) between 2021 and 2022 and a staggering 201 for his career.
In 11 seasons with the Braves, Angels, Twins and Cubs, Simmons has a triple slash of .263/.312/.366. Although he will enter 2023 at age 33, Simba will likely generate at least some interest in the offseason if he wishes to continue playing, perhaps as an unlisted guest. No matter where his career goes from here, however, his glove work will go down as legend in Atlanta and Orange County.