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Cubs sign shortstop Andrelton Simmons

He’s an excellent defender.

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The Cubs have made their first major-league free agent signing since the lockout ended:

I have to say, I am underwhelmed by this. Simmons didn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify in 2021 but if he had, he would have been one of the worst offensive performers in MLB: .223/.283/.274 (.557 OPS). That’s ... awful.

Simmons still managed a 1.5 bWAR season for the Twins in 2021 because his defense is so good. Even at age 31 he’s one of the top defensive shortstops in the major leagues. And, prior to 2021 his slash line was .269/.317/.379, which, while not great, is acceptable for someone who plays defense as well as he does.

And, as Ken Rosenthal notes — Simmons could become an excellent defensive backup if the Cubs do still pursue Carlos Correa. $4 million in today’s market is about what a competent veteran backup infielder would make. It should be noted that Simmons has never played a defensive position other than shortstop in the major leagues.

Let’s hope this is just a prelude to a Correa signing. This signing fills one empty spot the Cubs had on the 40-man roster coming out of the lockout; the 40-man is currently full.


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