Simmons is one of the top defensive shortstops in the league, winning Gold Gloves in 2013 and 2014. He could have easily been the choice in 2015 as well; however, he lost out to San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. Reportedly, the Braves tried to trade him straight up for one of the New York Mets’ top young pitchers, but the Mets weren’t going for it.
The Braves are probably taking the bigger risk in making this trade. They wanted Jacob deGrom or Matt Harvey, but they got untested prospects and a stopgap shortstop. Aybar will be a free agent after the 2016 season. However, the Angels are taking a risk too. They need a lot more than a shortstop in order to have a successful campaign in 2016. Not only did they further deplete their already-lowly farm system, they took on Simmons’ contract and sent the Braves $2.5 million.
To read the rest of my column on why this deal could end up hurting the Angels more than benefiting them use the link below to go to Today’s Knuckleball to ready it in its entirety.