Reports indicate that two time gold glover and 2015 Defensive Player of the Year Anderlton Simmons has been dealt from the Atlanta Braves to the Los Angeles Angels, along with catcher Jose Briceno. The Braves will receive infielder Erick Aybar, lefty Sean Newcomb and righty Chris Ellis, , and $2.5 million.
Simmons is widely regarded as the best defensive player in the game. He has a career fielding percentage of .983, and hasn’t had a fielding percentage below .975 in his four year career. He has turned 350 double plays in his career. These stats tell only part of the story. Simmons is a kid who is known to never quit on a play. He puts it all on the line to get the job done.
Aybar, Newcomb, and Ellis are pretty important to the Braves future. Aybar fills in at short while the Braves top prospect, shortstop Ozhaino Albies, progresses and develops into the everyday shortstop. Newcomb and Ellis were the top prospects in LA’s system. They will be great for the new ballpark in 2017.
This is a win-win trade. The Braves continue to stockpile pitching prospects, while the Angels get stronger defensively in the infield. The only question about this deal is Simmons’ offensive ability. He isn’t a great hitter, and some view his current ability at the dish to be the peak of his offensive output. However, he still has room to improve. He’s 26, has five years and $53M left on the extension he signed last year, and should contribute greatly to the Angels.