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Thursday, February 20, 2014

SBNation/TalkingChop: BREAKING: Andrelton Simmons gets seven-year, $58 million extension

No yearly breakout, but it buys out two of his free agent years in 2019-20.

Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:59 PM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, contract extensions, hiring john hart is a good idea, white flight field

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   1. Willie Mayspedester Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4659718)
Seems like a good deal to me.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4659748)
Is Jason Heyward not willing to sign long-term or are the Braves reluctant to commit to him? You'd think the hometown guy would want to stay in Atlanta.
   3. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4659758)
If I'm recalling right Heyward turned down a long-term extension. I probably would too if I were him, as his market value stands to go way up if he turns in a healthy season at the productivity level his talent suggests.
   4. sinicalypse Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4659762)
wow... another day, another extension for the braves, eh? they've certainly identified the core of their team for, say, the next 5 years and made sure that they're not going to have any distractions with the immediate future.

also, the tag of white flight field is excellent, but not quite "centaur beat" excellent. then again, what is? c'est la vie.
   5. sinicalypse Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4659767)
oh and #2 if i'm recalling correctly then indeed you are correct. to me it's a pretty obvious situation where he was the most heralded prospect out of the braves' bunch (noticeably moreso than good ol freddie freeman, as the heyward-hype-train b4.... what was it, 2012? that was big and excessive) but he's yet to "put it all together" for a proper season that validates that one pre-season-hype-train he had a few years ago, so therefore he'd be getting locked up at prices that reflect a more middling/injured kid who still has some potential but is a far cry from the "can't miss prospect" he was labeled as years ago.

seeing as he doesn't stand to really lose out on considerable cash short of a career ending/de-railing injury, i'd guess it's a pretty prudent move to risk the security to bet on himself in the wake of all of these extensions. if he comes out and hits .290/30/100/15 or something this season he could then cheekily turn around and say "...so about that extension" =D
   6. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4659780)
Is Jason Heyward not willing to sign long-term or are the Braves reluctant to commit to him?


Seems to be a little bit of both. I suspect Heyward would sign a long-term, market-level extension, but the Braves aren't willing to offer it based on Heyward's injury history. And I suspect the Braves would sign a long-term, below-market extension, but Heyward's not willing to do that coming off an injury-plagued year when his value is not where it could be, especially when the injuries were pretty flukish.
   7. jmurph Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4659791)
I think Freeman's teammates need to look into hiring his agent. His was the only one of these Braves deals that really raised eyebrows. The rest seem like obviously good deals for the team, whereas Freeman's, at least in my mind, seems like it could reasonably go in a number of directions.
   8. DA Baracus Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4659842)
Is Jason Heyward not willing to sign long-term or are the Braves reluctant to commit to him?


They couldn't agree on a long term deal this year, but next year...

The expectation is that after next season, the Heyward deal can be expanded so that he, too, will be locked up at least through the first year in the new ballpark.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4659881)
He's apparently on track to be a super 2 so this is roughly something like 1/3/6/9/12/13/14 ... or maybe those last few years are a bit lower and there's an option with buyout? At first glance that seems a bit pricey to me. Of course if he's really the 2nd coming of Ozzie then it's a bargain.
   10. zonk Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4659885)
I don't know if the numbers say he's as good as Ozzie -- dWAR does in just a season and a half -- but Simmons is silky smooth as short...I'm trying to think of a guy I've seen play SS that just looks... better... or like Ozzie since Ozzie. If it turns out he actually can hit a few homers and hit a bit, I think this is an outstanding deal.
   11. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4659902)
To follow up DA's post @8, Heyward doesn't want to sign a long term deal until he puts together a year he considers to be "what he can do." He was on track to do that last year, but his appendix blew up and he got hit in the face with a fastball. He signed the two year deal to eliminate arb hearings and there's been no word of bad feelings between him and the club. I expect that they'll work something out with him next winter. I don't expect Justin Upton to be brought back after 2015 barring an influx of cash into the payroll (or the jettisoning of BJ Upton's contract.)
   12. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4659906)
Simmons is built differently than a lot of the defensive specialists we usually see. He's tall and wiry instead of being a tiny, slight jitterbug sort. Plenty of room to fill out.

He can definitely put a charge in a pitch if it's elevated; he hit 17 homers and picked up a total of 50 extra-base hits last year, so he's got some pop. He can run a bit and he never strikes out (55 Ks in 606 at-bats).

His swing is also long and loopy, and he was pretty much a pop-up machine last year. His plate discipline is predictably rather poor, and he seemed to have a ton of at-bats where he just said, \"#### it, I'm swinging on the next pitch." So he's got a long way to go offensively.

He's never going to be A-Rod, but I can see him pretty routinely hitting at, say, a .270/.320/.430 level year in and year out.
   13. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4659915)
Man, that Ringolsby article makes me all happy inside.
   14. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4659923)
Simmons is special defensively because he combines the range of Ozzie with the arm of Shawon Dunston.
   15. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4659926)
the first year in the new ballpark.


Wait, what? There's a new ballpark in the offing in Atlanta?
   16. zonk Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4659928)
I think the wariness over Simmons' offensive surge was really that he hadn't shown the same power in the minors - though, he had 35 doubles in A+ at age 21 - but as 12 said... if he's wiry, then I guess he's got room to grow. He did zoom through the minors... Rookie ball at age 20, A+ at 21, AA at 22 - then the majors at 23... In a way, maybe he's the rare guy that actually DOES prove the cliche of young doubles becomng older homers...
   17. DA Baracus Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4659933)
He's apparently on track to be a super 2 so this is roughly something like 1/3/6/9/12/13/14 ... or maybe those last few years are a bit lower and there's an option with buyout?


Nope. $1M, $3M, $6M, $8M, $11M, $13M and $15M with a $1M signing bonus. No option years.

Simmons had a 750 OPS last year and was 760 this year batting out of the 8 hole and 840 out of the 2, 6 and 7 combined. That'll do.
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4659935)
Wait, what? There's a new ballpark in the offing in Atlanta?


No. In Cumberland.
   19. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4659937)
Also, I don't really know if Simmons is as good as Smith was, but he's the most magical-looking fielder I've seen as an adult.
   20. toratoratora Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4659966)
Good article by Ringlosby (Man, that hurt to write). It's nice to see a team with a good concept execute well on establishing and following a long term plan.
Schuerholz is a heckuva GM.

ETA-Of course there is that pesky BJ Upton issue
   21. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4659972)
Schuerholz is a heckuva GM.


John Schuerholz is not the GM. He is the President of Baseball Operations and a member of the Board. (Bobby Cox also still sits on the Board last I checked.)

Frank Wren is the GM.

Of note given 2014's spate of young player contract extensions, in November of 2013 the Braves hired John Hart as a special assistant as well.
   22. toratoratora Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4659983)
Gack-I always forget that.
I'm still stuck in the KC days.
Thanks
   23. bigglou115 Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:52 PM (#4660022)
I think the wariness over Simmons' offensive surge was really that he hadn't shown the same power in the minors - though, he had 35 doubles in A+ at age 21 - but as 12 said... if he's wiry, then I guess he's got room to grow. He did zoom through the minors... Rookie ball at age 20, A+ at 21, AA at 22 - then the majors at 23... In a way, maybe he's the rare guy that actually DOES prove the cliche of young doubles becomng older homers..


If I'm remembering correct, about half of Simmons HRs were of the just barely made it variety according to hit tracker. Doubt he gets that kind of luck again. The last 3 young ATL SS have all had really young power surges. Weird.
   24. bigglou115 Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:56 PM (#4660025)
I'm really curious when all the dust settles to see how much Atlanta has committed in 2016-18. Assuming no Heyward or Justin deal, they may be looking to field a new 3B, LF, RF, CF, probably at least 1 average+ SP, a few bullpen pieces, and if Gattis and La Stella don't work out then I assume a 2B and maybe a C depending on how bad Bathencourt's offense turns out.

Not to mention that some of those guys are going to have to be better than average offensively or its the Freddie Freeman show on the offensive side...
   25. DA Baracus Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4660030)
Project any team 2-4 years out and you'll have a lot of holes. And for most teams, not as good of an existing core.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:57 PM (#4660050)
.270/.320/.430

That's an OPS+ of about 105 -- not impossible but substantially above average for a starting SS. (And if he fills out, he'll likely lose some on defense ... probably still a worthwhile trade.)

Nope. $1M, $3M, $6M, $8M, $11M, $13M and $15M with a $1M signing bonus.

So I was $1 M too low in years 1 and 7 and $1 M too high in years 4 and 5. I am blushing with embarrassment.

Anyway, it's hard to know how an arbitrator (or other teams) will treat defensive superstars through their arb years at this point. It's hard to think even who to comp him to. Franklin Gutierrez got 4/$19 for 2010-13 and he was also much older. Brendan Ryan got squat but he was never full-time and also older. Gomez got squat but wasn't a starter and hit really poorly. Yadier's 4 arb years and first FA year seem to have been bought out for about $22 M ... then the big extension at about the same price as Simmons' FA years here. Aaron Hill's arb years cost about $12 M then he was signed for 5/$46 but his Rfield had faded by then. Parra signed his 2nd arb year for about $5 M. Of course only Yadier and Ryan are real defensive comps here.

Tulo is a good recent "awesome young defensive SS" comp but he also hit. His first contract bought out 3 arb and 2 FA years (plus 2 pre-arb years) for $45. (Tulo had 6.8 WAR at 22, Simmons 6.8 WAR at 23.)

Andrus is an OK comp -- $14 M for his 3 arb years, his big extension is $15 M at the start .... that's quite close to this contract. He does have 13.4 oWAR through age 24 so a better offensive player than Simmons.

Guys like Machado, Arenado, Lawrie will be interesting to keep an eye on but also not SS.

By the way, I'm not trying to question Simmons defense but clearly his +41 last year is not something we can rely on. Nor do I consider this a bad contract on a $/WAR context -- he just has to be an average SS for this to be a good contract. It's only possibly bad in comparison with other contracts that comparable players have signed -- i.e. does the market reward this type of player and, if not, no reason for the Braves to. But Simmons as Elvis Andrus is more than reasonable. His oWAR to date has been that of an average SS so even at +10 in the field, he'll provide a good return.*

*Of course it will almost certaintly be a great return in strict $/WAR terms but that's a function of the salary structure in MLB. His arb and early FA years look roughly like what an "average or slightly better starter" gets.
   27. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4660205)
The next Cal Ripken. More defensive value, less offensive value, but similar body types and slash lines. Without the streak.

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