Former Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons signed a one-year, $10.5 million free agent deal with the Twins over the weekend, but more importantly he opened up to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register about his struggles with depression.
Simmons described feeling depressed and having thoughts of suicide, though not that he acted on. This, he told Fletcher, was the primary cause for Simmons to opt out of the final week of the season:
The news came just as the Angels were entering a bubble for the final week of the regular season. Because they were mathematically alive for the postseason, the Angels and all the other potential postseason teams were subjected to a higher level of quarantine during the final week of the regular season. The idea was to reduce the risk of the virus interfering with the postseason.
As it turns out, that was the final straw for Simmons.
“I was really saddened by how much I was hearing about the death toll, and seeing how smaller businesses were going out of business and I was a little depressed at how the effects of all the new rules and fears were gonna affect people’s livelihoods and how disconnected people were becoming,” he wrote.
Simmons opted out of the final five games of the 2020 season, ending a five-year run as one of the best shortstops in Angels history. He led all major league shortstops from 2016-20 with 93 Defensive Runs Saved at the position, and won Gold Gloves from 2017-19, giving him five such career awards.
Simmons told Fletcher that seeing others struggle with depression helped him finally decide to share his story. We should be thankful that he did.
- In another powerful story shared on Tuesday, Giants minor league utility man Drew Robinson detailed his suicide attempt from last April, and everything that has happened since (including a non-roster invitation to spring training this month) with Jeff Passan at ESPN.
- Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times wrote Tuesday, before news of the suspension came out, that Arte Moreno’s history suggests the Angels should fire Mickey Callaway.
- It’s PECOTA week at Baseball Prospectus, and Angels first baseman Jared Walsh was one of 10 hitters listed as on the rise by Matthew Trueblood. PECOTA’s 50th percentile projection for Walsh has him hitting 28 home runs with a 107 DRC+ in 2021.
- The top five debut seasons with the Angels were picked by Rhett Bollinger at MLB.com.