Andrelton Simmons has decided to opt out of the remainder of the 2020 season, missing the final five games before heading into free agency.
Statement from Andrelton Simmons on opting out, released through his agency: pic.twitter.com/zuVSPfwt5c— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 22, 2020
The Angels, in a statement released by the team, said, “This year has presented unique challenges for so many and the Angels respect Andrelton’s decision.”
Simmons is in the final year of a seven-year contract originally signed with the Braves in 2013. He hit .297/.346/.356 in his fifth season with the Angels, one in which he missed 22 games with a left ankle sprain.
“Not playing 100 percent hurts what I can do, but I know what I bring to the table every day,” the 31-year-old Simmons said last week, noting he’d like to play shortstop for another 8-10 more years. “If it’s experience, if it’s just being aware of what’s going on, if it’s making plays, I know what I can do, and I have no doubt in my mind I can do it.”
In five years with the Angels, Simmons hit .281/.328/.394, a 96 OPS+, and won Gold Gloves for his fielding prowess at shortstop in 2017 and 2018. Simmons totaled 94 Defensive Runs Saved from 2016-2020, second among all MLB fielders to Mookie Betts (+102) during that span.
Simmons’ 20.9 WAR (the Baseball-Reference version) is the third-most by a shortstop in Angels history, behind Jim Fregosi (45.9 WAR) and Erick Aybar (23.0), who played 11 and 10 seasons, respectively, for the franchise.
Angels manager Joe Maddon said on a conference call Tuesday that he heard the Simmons news from general manager Billy Eppler on Monday. Maddon said he texted Simmons on the bus ride down to San Diego, but hasn’t yet heard back.
“The guy’s a good baseball player, as we all know, and I really loved my conversations with him,” Maddon said on a conference call. “I do wish him well. He’s a wonderful young man, an important and really big part of what we were doing.”
The Angels on Tuesday placed Simmons on the restricted list, and called up infielder Elliot Soto to take his place on the active roster.