MLB free agency: Andrelton Simmons reportedly joins Twins; Giants close to deal with Tommy La Stella

Tuesday was one of the busiest days of the Major League Baseball offseason. The Hall of Fame voting results were announced; catcher J.T. Realmuto inked a new, record-breaking contract with the Philadelphia Phillies; and Marcus Semien joined up with the Toronto Blue Jays, who just added George Springer last week.

Those weren’t the only moves to go down on Tuesday, either. Below, you’ll find a recap of the day’s other signings.

Simmons signs with Minnesota

Andrelton Simmons has played in an eastern division and he’s played in a western division. This upcoming season, he’ll play in a central, having joined the Minnesota Twins on a one-year deal worth $10.5 million, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Simmons entered the offseason ranked by CBS Sports as the ninth-best free agent available. Here’s what we wrote:

How messed up was 2020? Simmons, arguably the best fielding shortstop of his generation, graded as a below-average defender, according to public-facing metrics. Now, to be fair, he played in only 30 games because of an ankle injury and his decision to opt-out late in the year. To be even more fair, reviewing his play suggests that he was largely the same rangy, big-armed, sure-handed defender he’s always been, he just dropped a few pop-ups that he shouldn’t have dropped and didn’t have enough time to atone for it. Fair enough. Simmons did enjoy a bounce back season at the plate, though his only real skill there is making contact. He’s posted a 98 OPS+ since the start of the 2017 season, but let’s be real: you aren’t signing him for his stick. 

Simmons’ addition will push incumbent shortstop Jorge Polanco to second base. Youngster Luis Arraez, meanwhile, will be used in a utility capacity.

La Stella close to deal with San Francisco

The San Francisco Giants are nearing an agreement with veteran infielder Tommy La Stella, according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.


La Stella, who will turn 32 in a few days’ time, entered the winter ranked by CBS Sports as the 31st-best free agent available. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

La Stella didn’t receive as much fanfare this season as he did in 2019, when he homered 16 times in 80 games and missed an All-Star Game appearance because of a fractured leg, but according to OPS+ this was the superior campaign. He’s trimmed his strikeout rate to barebone levels (down to 5 percent this year) without it impacting his discipline or the adaptability of his swing, as he’s still able to hit the ball hard (relative to himself) across planes. A team signing La Stella is doing so because of the contributions he can make on the offensive side, particularly with his average and on-base percentage against right-handed pitchers. He’s limited on the defensive side because of a substandard arm and a general lack of twitchy athleticism. La Stella can “play” second or third, you just aren’t going to feel good about it until he’s due to bat again.

La Stella is expected to see action at both second and third base. As it stands, the Giants are projected to start Donovan Solano and Evan Longoria at those positions. Still, having a little more capable depth is never a bad idea.


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