Andrelton Simmons, Twins Reportedly Agree to 1-Year, $10.5M Contract

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IJanuary 27, 2021

Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons throws to first to get Texas Rangers' Rougned Odor out on a ground ball during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Shortstop Andrelton Simmons is headed to Minnesota.

The four-time Gold Glove Award winner reached an agreement with the Twins on a one-year, $10.5 million contract, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan

The Cincinnati Reds, Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies were also interested in the 31-year-old, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman

Simmons was a free agent for the first time after the seven-year deal he signed upon entering the majors with the Atlanta Braves expired. He played for Atlanta for four seasons before being traded to the Los Angeles Angels.

With the Angels, he earned his most recent two Gold Gloves, in 2017 and 2018. He finished in the top 15 of MVP voting during both of those years, earning a career-high finish of eighth in 2017. That season, he slashed .278/.331/.421 with 14 home runs and a career-high 164 hits and 38 doubles.

In 2020, Simmons hit .297/.346/.356 in 118 at-bats before opting out of the season on September 22.

"At this moment, I feel this is the best decision for me and for my family," he told Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times. "We don't know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming us and making us feel at home." 

While he's packed an offensive punch since joining the Angels, Simmons is best-known for being one of the top defensive players of all time. He is credited with 191 defensive runs saved, second to Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre in FanGraphs' database (which goes back to 2002).  

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The Twins have Jorge Polanco rostered at shortstop, and he won't hit free agency until 2026, with options in the two years preceding. Simmons is a serious upgrade at the position, since Polanco hasn't had a positive value in the Defensive Runs Saved metric since 2015 (h/t Mike Axisa of CBS Sports). 

Per Passan, Polanco will move over to second base, and former second baseman Luis Arraez will "get plenty of at-bats in a super-utility role."