If the Oakland A’s are looking for a stopgap solution at shortstop for the 2021 season, Andrelton Simmons could be worth consideration.
In theory, the Oakland A’s do not need to find a long term answer at short this offseason. They have Nick Allen waiting in the wings, a player whose glove is major league ready right now. Sheldon Neuse could slot into that spot, but his own future with the organization may be in question as he could be a trade target.
If Allen can prove that the offensive improvements that he made during the 2019 minor league campaign are sustainable, then he could emerge as the every day option as soon as 2022. But there is still the matter of finding a shortstop for the coming season.
Although the A’s would like to bring Marcus Semien back, that may not be a viable option from a financial standpoint. However, Oakland may be able to find a viable one year option with a player looking for a bounce back season, such as Andrelton Simmons.
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A brilliant defensive shortstop, Simmons never really got on track in 2020. Between injuries and opting out of the final few games of the season, he only appeared in 30 games. Over the course of his 127 plate appearances, he produced a respectable .297/.346/.356 batting line, hitting seven doubles while drawing eight walks and striking out just 16 times.
However, Simmons is essentially in the lineup for his defense, which was a major disappointment last year. A perennial Gold Glove candidate, he displayed below average range and was neutral in regards to runs saved.
If Simmons is healthy, he could be a very interesting addition to the roster. With another perennial Gold Glove candidate in Matt Chapman at third, few ground balls would be going through the left side of the infield. That could make a major difference in a season where the A’s are looking to contend once again despite extreme budget limitations.
The Oakland A’s may only need a one year stopgap at short. If that is the case, Andrelton Simmons could be an intriguing option.