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Report: Cubs sign Andrelton Simmons to one-year, $4 million deal

The Cubs have made their first free agency move post-lockdown, and it’s for a shortstop — just not the one Chicago fans may have been hoping for.

Andrelton Simmons has reportedly signed a deal with the Cubs, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. By MLB Network’s Jon Heymanthe deal is for one year and $4 million plus incentives.

Simmons brings elite defensive ability to the North Side in the middle of the infield, as he has won four Gold Gloves in his career and ranks near the top of virtually every advanced metric with the glove. He’s been a productive contact hitter in the past, but his offensive numbers have dropped significantly in recent years.

Last season with the Twins, Simmons hit just .223/.283/.274 with just 15 extra hits in 131 games. He had an OPS+ of 57; 100 is set as the league average benchmark.

The Cubs are hoping he can return to the production he showed previously with the Angels, most recently when he hit .292 with a 108 OPS+ in 2018 before slipping to .264 with a 78 OPS+ in 2019 He rebounded to .297 with a 94 OPS+ in 2020, but he only played 30 games.

The shortstop is widely accepted as the first position available during free agency, with Javier Baez and Corey Seager having already signed nine-figure deals before the lockdown. Carlos Correa and Trevor Story remain the marquee options still available, and the Cubs have been tied to Correa. According to Rosenthalhowever, signing Simmons does not remove Chicago from the race for Correa.

Free agency is expected to ramp up over the weekend as players start showing up for camps in Arizona and Florida. Spring training games are scheduled to begin March 18.

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