Reds rumors: Andrelton Simmons represents economical shortstop option

Sep 2, 2020; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons (2) catches the baseball. Mandatory Credit: Angels Baseball/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network
Sep 2, 2020; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons (2) catches the baseball. Mandatory Credit: Angels Baseball/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network /
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In an effort to fill the vacancy at shortstop, the latest Reds rumors suggest Andrelton Simmons may fit the bill as an inexpensive option. The Cincinnati Reds have been looking to cut costs all offseason, but with a need for a shortstop before the start of the 2021 season, adding Simmons may represent the most economical option for the Nick Krall and the front office.

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Reds are among many teams interested in Simmons. Cincinnati, along with the Philadelphia Phillies and Oakland Athletics represent the most shortstop-needy teams this winter. The New York Mets made a trade for Francisco Lindor earlier this offseason.

We’ve seen countless Reds rumors this winter involving shortstops.

Andrelton Simmons’ name is the latest in a list of several candidates rumored to be on Krall’s radar this winter. Earlier this offseason, we’d heard that Didi Gregorius’ representation had had conversations with the Reds front office. There were also Reds rumors a couple weeks ago that Cincy’s front office had participated in negotiations with Marcus Semien’s camp as well.

Simmons is the best defensive shortstop on the market, and when healthy, he may be one of the best defensive players in the game, period! According to FanGraphs, for his career, Andrelton Simmons has 191 defensive runs saved (DRS). Oddly, Simmons posted a -2 DRS last season while appearing in just 30 games due to injury.

Why might Andrelton Simmons come cheaper than the other shortstops?

We’ve seen the Cincinnati front office make some bold moves this offseason with an eye towards saving money. The Red dealt Raisel Iglesias to Simmons’ former team, the Los Angeles Angels, earlier this winter. Cincy also non-tendered catcher Curt Casali, pitcher Archie Bradley, and outfielder Brian Goodwin.

Simmons, who’s predicted by MLB Trade Rumors to land a one-year/$12M contract, has never been a bat-first shortstop. Simmons’ career OPS is below .700 and he’s accounted for just 67 home runs over his nine-year career.

Simmons, who was one of the more durable players from 2013-2018, has struggled to stay on the field the last two seasons. Averaging 146 games per season during the aforementioned timeframe, Simmons played in just 103 games in 2019 and only got on the field in 30 of LA’s 60 contests during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020.

Simmons offense is not the reason he’ll find work in 2021. The four-time Gold Glove Award winner has always hung his hat on his defensive efforts. Marcus Semien represents the best all-around shortstop on the market, while Didi Gregorius has the better track record at the dish.

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The Cincinnati Reds definitely need to address the shortstop position heading into next season. As it stands now, Kyle Farmer would likely be the Opening Day starter. If these latest Reds rumors come to fruition and Cincinnati is able to sign Andrelton Simmons, they’ll certainly be much improved on the defensive-side of the ball.