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January 25, 2021

MLB rumors: Phillies have interest in Andrelton Simmons to fill shortstop need

If the current baseball schedule holds — and that is a very large if, with COVID-19 still raging through the United States, and particularly Florida and Arizona — spring training is less than a month away from kicking off in Clearwater.

And yet, the Phillies still have no idea who'll be starting at catcher or at shortstop. For whatever reason, they seem to be comfortable taking their offseason right down to the wire, with negotiations with All-Star backstop J.T. Realmuto seemingly ongoing (at a snail-like pace). 

There are some other players the team has been connected to in recent days, like former Astros hurler Lance McCullers and former Pirates hurler Jameson Taillon (who wound up going to the Yankees earlier today). But the one that is currently the most interesting is former Angels and Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

Simmons, 31, is a four-time gold glover many Phils fans remember from his four seasons in Atlanta. The defensive talent he has is certainly appealing to an infield that could use it. He's never played a big league game anywhere else in the field, but with so many players on the roster with positional flexibility (Scott Kingery, Jean Segura and Alec Bohm can all play more than one infield spot), that won't be a strike against him.

Simmons has finished in the top 15 in MVP voting three times, and has a career slash line of .269/.317/.379. His slugging number isn't eye-popping, and the decision to bring in Simmons to replace Didi Gregorius could lead to a little less power in the lineup — his per 162 game averages are just 10 homers and 62 RBI per season.

Simmons is a guy sort of in the mold of Freddy Galvis, a player who is also a free agent and could be in the mix to come to Philadelphia. He makes good contact and doesn't strike out much — an attribute appealing to the Phillies — but he also doesn't walk much. 

That the Phillies are sharing interest in him with other teams may be a hurdle, as their cautiousness with Realmuto and with Gregorius, in whom they reportedly also have interest, may indicate they're not going to be out-bidding anyone on the open market.

According to, Simmons carries with him a market value of around $7.5 million per season. That number is almost half what they paid Gregorius to play short last season. It's a reasonably good value for a player who will play every day, hit a little bit and defend well. However, convincing him to sign a one-year deal may be the biggest problem.

The Phillies are optimistic about shortstop prospect and former first round pick Bryson Stott — currently the No. 2 prospect in the farm system according to They surely are looking for a veteran stopgap and not a long-term investment. We'll see if Simmons fits the bill.

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