6:01pm: The Angels have placed Simmons on the restricted list and selected infielder Elliot Soto in a corresponding move. Soto, whom the Angels signed to a minor league contract last offseason, is a former Cubs, Marlins and Rockies farmhand who has batted .272/.346/.389 in 1,323 Triple-A plate appearances.
5:29pm: Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons announced Tuesday that he has opted out of the remainder of the season.
“At this moment, I feel this is the best decision for me and for my family,” Simmons said in part to Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”
Simmons’ decision comes amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns that have caused others to opt out, though the 31-year-old has played the majority of the 2020 campaign. He spent time on the injured list with a sprained left ankle but has otherwise appeared in 30 games and slashed a respectable .297/.346/.356 in 127 plate appearances. That represents a nice bounce-back effort by Simmons, who was unable to complement his superlative defense with a decent offensive showing during an injury-limited 2019.
Of course, considering he’s a pending free agent, Simmons’ time with the out-of-contention Angels may be over. He originally joined the Angels in a trade with the Braves prior to the 2016 season, and while Simmons has been quite successful since then (15.5 fWAR in 2,281 plate appearances), the Angels haven’t gone to the playoffs since they acquired him.
Going forward, the Angels could try to re-sign Simmons or even issue him a qualifying offer before potentially losing him in free agency during the upcoming offseason. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him reach the open market unfettered. Simmons is on track to join Marcus Semien and Didi Gregorius as the best shortstops available in free agency.