The designated shortstop for the Cubs andrelton simmons for loan today, the club announced. The move came shortly after it was activated from the 10-day IL. He had been out since mid-July with a right shoulder strain.
Simmons never really got off the ground in Chicago after signing a one-year, $4MM deal with the Cubs in the offseason. He struggled with shoulder pain from jumping and had only logged 85 plate appearances on the season. In that small sample, he posted a meager .173/.244/.187 batting line and scored just one extra-base hit. In his absence, Nico Hörner he has handled the most innings at shortstop, posting a 107 wRC+ while playing solid defense, making the veteran well over the requirements for a non-contending team.
While Simmons has been touted as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game since his debut in 2012, his offensive production (he’s sporting a career 86 wRC+) has fallen off a cliff since he left the Angels after the 2020 season. In roughly one full season of action (536 PA), he hit a .216/.277/.261 average, good for a wRC+ of just 51.
Still, as long as his shoulder isn’t an ongoing issue, Simmons could still catch up with a contender as a top-level defensive option, though probably not until after he’s cleared waivers. He has won four gold gloves and finished second (after Carlos Correa) in the Fielding Bible’s 2021 defensive ratings. In fact, since 2013, he has finished below third place only once and has won the award for six consecutive seasons (2013-2018). Advanced metrics support Simmons’ continued defensive value; according to Fangraphs, Simmons has racked up 19 DRS (defensive runs saved) between 2021 and 2022 and a prodigious 201 for his career.
In parts of 11 seasons with the Braves, Angels, Twins and Cubs, Simmons owns a career .263/.312/.366 triple. Although he will enter 2023 at age 33, Simba will likely draw at least some interest in the offseason if he wishes to continue playing, albeit perhaps as a non-roster guest. However, regardless of where his career goes from here, his work with his gloves will remain a legend in Atlanta and Orange County.