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Andrelton Simmons wants to play shortstop another 8-10 years

Angels SS will be a free agent after the 2020 season

MLB: SEP 13 Angels at Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s probably exactly not how Andrelton Simmons wanted to head into free agency, but he’s still found ways to be productive when playing.

A left ankle sprain sidelined Simmons for 22 games, lopping off more than a third off an already truncated season. It’s affected him at shortstop, where he is usually among the league leaders in fielding prowess. By Defensive Runs Saved, for instance, Simmons is actually one run below average this year. He averaged 24 DRS in his eight full major league seasons, including +12 in 2019.

In the final year of his contract, Simmons will be a free agent, having just turned 31. He was asked Tuesday how long he thought he could continue playing shortstop.

“Eight, 10, I don’t know,” Simmons said on a conference call Tuesday. “You’ve got to believe in yourself, first and foremost. I know what I bring to the table.”

When told of Simmons’ plan to play that long at shortstop, Maddon chuckled and said, “I really like this guy a lot.”

“He’s got this internal clock he exists with. I think he can. I don’t know about eight to 10, I wish that he could. I hope that he can,” Maddon said on a conference call Tuesday. “That would also mean he has the verve and the energy to want to do something like that. I think that’s wonderful. Talent-wise, the more you’re out there with the man, the more you appreciate it.”

Since returning from the injured list, Simmons is hitting .321/.382/.383 with a multi-hit effort in 11 of his 20 games.

“Hitting is obviously a big part of the game, and if you can help the team, if you can contribute on both sides of the field, I think it should help your case to have a sustainable long career. It’s something I’ve been working on. I feel like I’ve progressed a lot, and I still have room to improve.”

Links

Mike DiGiovanna at the Los Angeles Times had a little more from Simmons, including whether he’ll return to the Angels as a free agent. “I know it’s a business. I can’t negotiate anything sitting in front of the camera right now. I can’t pay myself to play here, so it’s not my decision,” Simmons said.

The folks at BetOnline have Mike Trout at 7/1 odds to win his fourth American League MVP. Twins slugger Nelson Cruz is the favorite at 5/4 odds, followed by Shane Bieber (2/1) and Jose Abreu (11/2).

The signage at Angel Stadium got an update for the homestand: