Reactions To The Andrelton Simmons Extension

Back in September, MLBTR's Jeff Todd wondered whether or not the Braves would look to extend their young core, and the last three weeks have revealed the answer: a resounding yes. Earlier today, the Braves announced that they had agreed to a seven-year, $58MM contract extension with defensive wizard Andrelton Simmons. The extension marks the fourth extension of at least four years for the Braves in the past three weeks and the sixth multi-year deal they've signed. Counting the new contracts for Simmons, Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel, Julio Teheran and Jason Heyward (two-year deal), the Braves have committed just over $280MM in salary to their young core. Here are some reactions to their latest long-term pact…

  • Dave Cameron of Fangraphs compares Simmons' extension in comparison to the arbitration paydays of several defensive-oriented players such as Elvis Andrus, Brett Gardner and Michael Bourn. Cameron notes that Simmons received roughly double what can be expected for a glove-first player based on their salaries. However, he also looks at Simmons' chances of becoming a Super Two player and the potential for offensive growth, noting that he's one season of strong numbers at the dish away from rocketing himself into another stratosphere alongside the likes of Troy Tulowitzki and Buster Posey.
  • In a highly recommended subscription-only piece, Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus looks at the floor for Simmons over the life of his extension, noting that it's probably similar Adam Everett's late 20s, when he averaged better than two WAR per season. He also looks at Simmons' ceiling, noting that his BABIP indicates he was robbed of 19 hits last season. Simmons' walk rate and ISO compare favorably to a strong group of hitters, leading Miller to conclude that if Simmons hits, the extension is beyond a bargain for Atlanta.
  • General manager Frank Wren tells David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the extensions haven't altered 2014 payroll much, and the team still has flexibility to make in-season additions. He also notes that more young players will be extended, though not necessarily this year (Twitter links).
  • It's time to reassess the Braves' ownership, writes Dayn Perry of CBS Sports. Perry looks at the downward trend in payroll that took place after Liberty Media took control of the team in 2007, noting that since that time the team has had a below-average payroll. Perry points out the enormous benefit provided by the team's upcoming Cobb County stadium and adds: "The prevailing reality is that the Braves, coming off 96 wins and a division title, are well-poised for the future, and that's in part because the maligned Liberty Media is willing to underwrite all these high-ceiling young players and keep them in Atlanta."
  • ESPN's Jim Bowden calls the contract a "steal" for the Braves (ESPN Insider required), noting that they're paying Simmons for his excellent glovework before his bat has fully developed. Bowden feels that Simmons will blossom into a plus hitter as well, and that the offense will be pure surplus value, as his glove alone is worth the money.
  • Bowden's colleague Keith Law kicked off his weekly chat by praising the Simmons deal, noting that the price is justified even if Simmons never hits much. Law agrees that Simmons' low BABIP leaves room for some offensive improvement, though he's surprised that the Braves simply guaranteed Simmons' salary for his third pre-arb year as if he were a surefire Super Two player. (Other deals, such as Ryan Braun's, for example, have included escalator clauses that provide a larger salary if the player reaches Super Two status.)

16 Responses to Reactions To The Andrelton Simmons Extension Leave a Reply

  1. jury_rigger 1 year ago

    Go Braves

  2. Zak Arn 1 year ago

    How are you glove-first if you belt the 5th most HRs at your position? Granted his BA and OBP resembled Freddy Galvis, but at least he has pop in his bat.

    • NL_East_Rivalry 1 year ago

      With a glove like that you will always be a glove first player.

      It will be very interesting seeing how he ages. I can see him getting 20 HR’s a year but his BA is likely only to grow a little.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      Because his glove is the only special quality he has. His offense isn’t that good, but because of his glove it makes him great.

      • Zak Arn 1 year ago

        When I think of glove-first guys I think of anemic career HR totals.

        • LazerTown 1 year ago

          HR aren’t whole part of offense. They are valuable, but simmons is a glove first. Take away his glove and he isn’t an everyday guy, but with it he is elite.

          • Zak Arn 1 year ago

            If you can hit HRs they find a place to put you on the field. I don’t expect him to get more than 25 in his career but, still it’s basically a fact that they’ll find somewhere for you to play if you can hit around 20 HRs. Minus the extension though. If can increase his OBP his SB opps go up, and he could put together double digit HRs & SBs and then you’d be saying he’s all around.

          • Kitty Cat Puppy Paws 1 year ago

            8 or 9 of those barely got over the fence, though. he’s not all of a sudden crushing bombs, he’s simply uppercut his swing, increased his fly ball rate, and saw his average dip. more balls in the air meant more balls were able to slightly edge over the fence. that also had something to do with his low babip, and therefore his low avg. if he’s going to be a better hiter, he needs to level out his swing and hit more line drives. his average will go up and the hr numbers will go back to what we were expecting before last season. i wouldnt expect more than around 10 hrs a year, which is still a nice total.

  3. Lennie Briscoe 1 year ago

    If Keith Law is praising Simmons’ deal, then it was probably a pretty good deal considering he rarely gives his stamp of approval to anything the Braves do.

  4. Bob Bunker 1 year ago

    Pretty solid extension my only concern is they didn’t take into account he had another year of pre-arb and three years of arbitration which due to arbitration not paying defense very much was unlikely to have them break the bank. Assuming he didn’t get Super 2 status he would make a million over the next two years, 6 million first arb, 9 million, 12 million for a combined 28 million over 5 years meaning the two free agent years are 15 million apiece which is pretty high when Free Agency hasn’t shown to pay for defense as much and Hanley Ramirez makes only 16 million now.

    • NL_East_Rivalry 1 year ago

      You have to take into account, which seemingly is what the Braves are banking on, future salary projections.

      Also Braves expect his offense to improve as he ages and matures. I wouldn’t expect a drastic change, however.

      • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

        I just feel like with their extensions other than Kimbrel they didn’t really get surplus value but just guaranteed the player their abitration salaries and gave them extra money on top of that in exchange for paying fair FA value for a year or 2. I understand the concept but I think an extension that covers pre-arb or arbitration years need to be better for the team since they are still taking a big risk.

        2017 the Braves have 65 million committed to 5 players now with Justin Upton, Jayson Heyward, Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Beachy, most of the bullpne, and Chris Johnson not signed. Just seems like the team might be top heavy unless they increase payroll to 130 million rather than the 90 the team has had in the past.

        • NL_East_Rivalry 1 year ago

          You are exactly right. They made the deal at their expected prices for two reasons. 1. To get those extra FA years in their prime and 2. To get a discount on inflation or changes in value.

          Second note, they’ve stated that their payroll will increase as they get closer to opening up the new stadium in 2017.

  5. Austin 1 year ago

    I love all these great deals for Atlanta. I feel ole all these players will live up to their expectations. But if you were to pick someone to be a bust from the four long term extensions (excluding Heyward), who would it be? I say best chance of being a bust is Teheran, then Simmons, then Kimbrel, then Freeman.

    • NickGranite 1 year ago

      You have to go with pitchers as the most likely busts, just extreme volatility considering arm injuries. What can you do? You need pitchers.

    • Bob Bunker 1 year ago

      I think I would go Freeman, Kimbrel, Teheran, then Simmons.

      Freeman has the biggest deal and is coming off a year with an unsustainable BABIP and plays a position where his bat is not amazing and his defense is sub par.

      Kimbrel is a dominant closer but still a pretty big deal and just one injury or a couple ticks lost in velocity and all that value goes down the drain.

      Teheran looks like the real deal and is the least value but pitchers are always volatile.

      Simmons has such a crazy floor due to his defensive value that by WAR there is almost no way he isn’t worth his contract. Add power potential shown or any upgrade with the bat and I don’t see how it could be a bust. Now whether or not it was necessary given he had two pre-arb years, and three arb years left and defense hasn’t been proven to lead to big Arb raises is another question.

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