February 20, 2014

Andrelton Simmons, meet Mike Trout and vice versa

Braves shortstop phenom Andrelton Simmons just got himself a big new deal, AP notes, for 7 years and $58 million.

I'm sure I'm far from alone in drawing comparisons to Mike Trout, who has half as much defensive value, at least, especially back in center field, and much more offensive value.

And, who has played one full year more.

Is this a "too soon" on Simmons?

I would partially say yes. I mean, 5.4 dWAR (Baseball-Reference) is off the charts. I'd like to see another year of play. And, per, say a Troy Tulowitzski, another year of play gives more information on Simmons' durability than we have now.

That said, it's probably not an overpay. And, Haloes owner Arte Moreno is probably kicking himself, and GM Jerry DiPoto, for not doing more to get a similar deal with Trout a year ago. Even something two years shorter, and cheaper, like a 5/$40 on Trout a year ago, would have gotten the Angels through all three of Trout's arb years, albeit with a big payout up front.

On the other hand, there's the injury gamble.

Now, that said, back to Trout.

Where does this set the bar on him? Given that he's a year "older," he's not doing more than six years, which still takes his first two free agent years. And probably not more than five.

Do you offer, say, 5/$75, rather than chase something longer? Anything longer, he's going to want an option clause that starts at his first year of free agency, which kind of defeats the purpose.

Anyway, some sort of bar has been set. And, if the Angels don't do it now, they're SOL.

That said, dear AP, you're wrong on one point ... Simmons, from the point of view of the US, is a foreign-born player. Just because he's got Caucasian skin and non-Asian facial features doesn't mean he's an American.

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