Cubs add elite defensive infielder Andrelton Simmons to one-year deal

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

And the stove is hot once more. Shortly after signing David Ross to a three-year contract extension, the Cubs made their first post-lockout move in free agency, inking veteran shortstop Andrelton Simmons to a one-year, $4 million contract (plus incentives), per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

Simmons, who spent the past year with the Twins following stints with the Angels and Braves, has a reputation as an elite defensive player, having racked up four Gold Glove Awards over the span of his career.  In fact, he ranks 13th all-time on Baseball Reference’s Defensive WAR rankings, and first among active players.

On the offensive, side, Simmons is an unremarkable presence at the plate, evidenced by last season’s .223 average and .274 OBP  in 458 plate appearances.  He should be a welcome addition on the defensive end, especially after the Cubs added contact pitchers Marcus Stroman and Wade Miley earlier in the offseason.

Andrelton Simmons adds depth to a depleted Cubs infield roster

While not a standout offensive player, the 32-year-old Simmons is a steady addition to the roster, especially with the future of the Cubs middle infield seemingly in flux.

Following last year’s trade of Javier Baez to the Mets, the Cubs have lacked any sort of depth at shortstop, with the oft-injured Nico Hoerner and hopefully not oft but still injured Nick Madrigal unable to make their respective cases as the position’s future.  Simmons has been largely healthy throughout his career, and will hopefully be a reliable day-to-day member of the roster.

While Simmons is not the splashy free agent signing that many fans are waiting with bated breath for, it doesn’t mean that signing is off the table. Carlos Correa, the high profile free agent that many have linked to the Cubs, is allegedly still an option for the club if they so choose to proceed down that path, according to Ken Rosenthal.  If the Cubs end up working out a deal with Correa, Simmons would still be an important piece of the roster,  providing key defensive depth the club has lacked in recent years.

Next. Hoyer puts his faith in David Ross via multi-year extension. dark

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The signing of Simmons is reminiscent of the two-year deal the club made with Yan Gomes early this offseason.  As Willson Contreras’ future with the club is also in flux, adding Gomes provides important depth to the roster, just as this signing of Simmons does.

The Cubs’ (and Simmons’) season begins on April 7 at Wrigley against the Milwaukee Brewers.