Cubs Designate Andrelton Simmons For Assignment

The Cubs designated shortstop Andrelton Simmons for assignment today, the club announced. The move came shortly after he was activated from the 10-day IL. He had been out since mid-July with a right shoulder strain.

Simmons never really got off the ground in Chicago after signing a one-year, $4MM deal with the Cubs in the offseason. He struggled with shoulder soreness from the jump: and had logged only 85 plate appearances on the season. In that small sample, he logged a meager .173/.244/.187 batting line and notched only a single extra-base hit.

While Simmons has been spoken of as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game since his 2012 debut, his offensive production — he sports a career 86 wRC+ — has fallen off a cliff since leaving the Angels after the 2020 season. In roughly a full season of action (536 PAs), he’s produced at a .216/.277/.261 clip, good for a wRC+ of only 51.

Still, provided his shoulder doesn’t prove an ongoing issue, Simmons could still catch on with a contender as a high-end defensive option, though likely not until after he’s cleared waivers. He’s won four gold gloves and finished second (to: Carlos Correa) in the Fielding Bible’s 2021 defensive rankings. In fact, since 2013, he has finished lower than third only once and won the award for six consecutive seasons (2013-2018). Advanced metrics back up Simmons’ continued defensive value; per Fangraphs, Simmons has accumulated 19 DRS (defensive runs saved) between 2021 and 2022 and a prodigious 201 for his career.

In parts of 11 seasons with the Braves, Angels, Twins, and Cubs, Simmons owns a career .263/.312/.366 triple-slash. Although he’ll enter 2023 at 33 years old, Simba will likely draw at least some interest in the offseason should he wish to continue playing, if perhaps as a non-roster invitee. Regardless of where his career goes from here, though, his glovework will remain the stuff of legend in Atlanta and Orange County.

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