- Simmons’ departure is a tough pill for Braves fans, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. Simmons was a regular and was signed for several more seasons, and there was a good possibility he would make a brilliant defensive play in any given game. Simmons is the best defensive shortstop since Ozzie Smith, O’Brien says, and there’s a parallel between the Simmons deal and the Padres’ regrettable decision to trade Smith in December 1981 after four years in San Diego as a light-hitting infielder. O’Brien also notes that the Simmons deal is likely to make the Braves less competitive as they open their new ballpark in 2017.
- The Braves’ rebuild will likely be painful in the short term, but is more likely to reap rewards in the long term than a more cautious approach, ESPN’s Buster Olney writes (Insider only). The Braves’ series of trades leaves them not only with a big collection of prospects, but also with the third overall draft choice next year and likely another top pick in 2017. The Braves are now at a low point in their rebuilding efforts (although perhaps not the lowest point, as Olney notes). The Cubs’ and Astros’ 2015 seasons, though, demonstrate the potential rewards of completing the task ahead.
- Braves GM John Coppolella says the team made the deal reluctantly, writes MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. “We didn’t want to trade Andrelton Simmons,” Coppolella says. “But we felt this was too good for us to pass up. We felt like we were getting so much talent back in this deal, that if we didn’t make this trade, it would be very tough for us to keep going forward with our plans.” Interestingly, Bowman implies that the Yankees pursued Simmons last offseason and offered a package that included top prospect Luis Severino.
- The Braves’ return for Simmons was merely a decent one, ESPN’s Keith Law writes (also for subscribers). The Angels did give up their top two prospects in Newcomb and Ellis, but they got a player in return who’s so good defensively that he’s valuable even if he doesn’t hit much. Simmons can also help the Angels win now, which is good, because their remaining farm system isn’t much to speak of.
- With the departures of Simmons and Jason Heyward, the Braves seem to be betting against their elite defenders aging well, FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron writes. Cameron finds, however, that great young defenders do tend to lose some defensive value from ages 26 to 30 (the age through which the Braves would have controlled Simmons), but that they compensate for that with stronger offensive performances (much as Smith did after moving from San Diego to St. Louis).