Before we begin, stop calling Simmons the best shortstop in baseball. That’s blasphemous.
The Los Angeles Angels acquire Andrelton Simmons and Jose Briceno from the Braves for Chris Ellis, Sean Newcomb, Erick Aybar, and cash.
Newcomb in 2015: 9-4, 2.72 ERA over various levels of minor league ball. 11.1 K/9. #19 Prospect in all of major league baseball. Newcomb is a huge lefty that has only given up 5 hits ONCE in his 27 starts. Valuable future #2 starter. Draws comparisons to Jon Lester.
Chris Ellis minors career: 11-9, 3.90 ERA, 132 Ks. Angels #2 Prospect. Mid rotation starter, valuable future trade chip whenever pitchers are hard to come by next spring.
Erick Aybar in 13 year Career: .276, 48 HRs, 417 RBIs.
Before we start, take off your fan cap and put on your GM cap. Let go of any sentimental attachment to Simmons before reading this. Let’s get this out of the way. Aybar is a better hitter than Simmons. He’s a consistent veteran, even though he’s not as good on defense (who is?), but he’s no slouch with the leather. I really wanted to trade Simmons for a few bats, but you can’t complain with the return. We got 3 solid pieces. Aybar is a good hit and run guy who has tremendous trade value as well. My only complaint is once again, along with the Olivera deal, I think the Braves were too impatient with this. I’m not sure if you’re all familiar with what rebuilding is, but this is it. The Braves were not going win a world series with the 2013 team, plain and simple. They got bounced in 4 games by a very average Dodgers team. Simba will be missed (for half an inning), but we got a great return for a .250 hitter who is going to hit into 20 double plays and hit 5 home runs. It’s just not what the fans wanted.
It’s a consensus around the league that the Angels gave up too much. In 2018, when Simmons is making almost $20 million to bat .250 and Newcomb is competing for Cy Young awards, will you all still be complaining?
Guess what guys? The free agent market for pitchers in 2016 and beyond is not very good. We are going to have ALL of the trade chips. The two easiest way to get hitters are:
1. Trades by using pitchers
2. Cold hard cash. Which we now have.
We now also have the best farm system in baseball. This team was going to be awful again in 2016, Simba or no Simba. We’re drafting 3rd this year, and will probably be in the top 5 again next year. If we draft a nice bat, sign Kevin Maitan (please god), and trade for quality hitters, we will return to the team we were in the 90’s. Franchises aren’t rebuilt overnight, and none of you know better than Coppy. This team is headed in the right direction. Stay tuned, it’s not as bad as you think.