The end of the World Series brought the official start of the Major League Baseball offseason, beginning with the dawning of free agency on Wednesday morning.
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons and pitcher Julio Teheran were the two Angels among the initial wave of 147 major league players to become free agents. More will join in the coming few days as options are exercised and declined.
Technically, the first five days of free agency is what MLB refers to as a “quiet period,” when free agents are not allowed to sign with a new team. They are allowed to re-sign with their old team at any time, and can negotiate with other teams, but no contract can be signed with a new team until Sunday at 2 p.m. PT.
Sunday is also significant for the Angels, as they at least have to consider making Simmons a qualifying offer. That would be a one-year offer at $18.9 million, which was determined from the average of the top 125 salaries in MLB this season. The deadline for the Angels to make such an offer is Sunday at 2 p.m., and the deadline for the player to accept is Friday, November 6.
If Simmons declines, any other team that signs him would lose a draft pick, and the Angels would receive draft pick compensation, depending on his contract. If he were to accept, the Angels would be on the hook for $18.9 million for a 31-year-old who missed large chunks of each of the last two seasons with injuries.
Simmons missed 53 games in 2019 while on the injured list with two different left ankle sprains, and missed 22 games in 2020 with a right ankle sprain. He’s one of the best defensive players in baseball when healthy, but gauging that ability to stay healthy will be important to consider whether tendering Simmons a qualifying offer.
Teheran signed a one-year, $9 million contract last year to bring stability to an Angels rotation, but his 2020 was anything but. He missed nearly all of summer camp after battling COVID-19, and with no minor league season and an Angels starting staff with razor-thin depth, Teheran essentially had what would normally be rehab starts in the majors instead to start his season.
The results were disastrous, allowing 35 runs on 39 hits in 31⅓ innings, and despite such a low innings total finished tied for fifth in the American League with 12 home runs.
Teheran’s ranked dead last among the 158 major league pitchers with at least 30 innings in both ERA (10.05) and FIP (8.62), and his ERA was the highest in Angels history with the same innings requirement.