The Braves began shopping Simmons just a short while ago, and while there were rumors they had asked for either Jacob deGrom or Matt Harvey, it appears they have settled their sights a little lower. Today the Braves agreed to deal Simmons and catcher Jose Briceno to the Angels in return for Lefty Sean Newcomb, Righty Chris Ellis, Shortstop Erick Aybar, and three million in cash. Presumable the cash won’t arrive in unmarked bills.
Simmons, 26, is arguably the single best defensive player in the game today. Though he hasn’t been consistent offensively, he has a tremendous floor because of his glove. And he has shown more value at the plate at times.
Los Angeles will take over the extension that Simmons signed last winter with his now-former club, pursuant to which he is owed $53MM over the next five seasons. Notably, not much cash has run off of that contract since it was signed, as Simmons was owed just $8MM total from signing through 2015.
The Braves, meanwhile, receive two hurlers who were widely considered the best prospects in an already-depleted (and now largely barren) Los Angeles system. Newcomb, in particular, is a major asset, as he landed inside the top twenty of prospects league-wide on MLB.com’s latest list. Atlanta now has a loaded store room of young arms to deploy at the major league level or utilize in trades.