The Atlanta Braves announced that they have signed shortstop Andrelton Simmons to a seven-year contract that runs through 2020. This continues the amazing streak the Braves have been on the past few weeks of locking up the young core of their team to multi-year contract extensions.
The deal is reportedly worth $58 million, and is a record contract for a player with under two years of total service time. The previous record was Ryan Braun’s contract in 2008, which was for eight years at $45 million.
Simmons would have been eligible for salary arbitration after this season, after only two full Major League season (plus one partial season), as a “super-2.” That’s why it was so important to sign Simmons now, before he entered arbitration and got more expensive; and also before he won any more Gold Gloves or Platinum Gloves. The Braves will buy out all four years of Simmons’ arbitration, and two years of free agency.
This is another terrific deal by the Braves, who lock up baseball’s best defensive player, and a budding offensive star. Simmons was one of the key players that the team needed to sign to complete their mission of securing their young core. It can’t be understated how important Simmons’ defense is to this Braves team. This deal is also good value on the shortstop market, considering that Elvis Andrus got $120 million over eight years at the beginning of last season, and while he is good defensively, he is no Andrelton Simmons both in the field or at the plate.
Atlanta my be done with extensions for now. The only other player I can see them signing to a long-term deal would be Mike Minor. With the way starting pitching salaries have been trending, it is probably worth getting a deal with him done.