HDWEB: Braves sign Andrelton Simmons, Rangers rotation on the ropes

In today's HOW DARE WE ENJOY BASEBALL, we appreciate a fine piece of defense with Andrelton Simmons, observe late off-season rotation panic with the Rangers, wonder whether umpires get even worse as they age, and more. YES!

Good morning HDWEB'ers, it's February 21st and now the Braves have nobody left to sign to an extension. Good going, Braves. Here's everything you need to know.

If you have ideas or suggestions, send 'em my way at @justinbopp.

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    I do wonder, though, how much this deal will edge extensions upward for defense-first middle infielders, and perhaps for all defense-first players.

    Prior to the 2012 season, Alcides Escobar (who isn't as good as Simmons, but who's still a very effective defender) signed away his last four pre-free agency years and two option years for $10.5 million guaranteed. Those kinds of deals probably aren't possible anymore.

    • The effect of team P/PA on late-series winning percentage - Beyond the Box Score -- In 2013, one team saw 3,000 more pitches than another -- the equivalent of over 20 games' worth of pitches. Did it actually make a difference in the win-loss column? This is one of my favorite theories in baseball (take more pitches --> get to the bullpen --> rack up some runs --> expose shallow teams in games three and four) and I only ever come away with "not enough data."

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    Here's a video of Andrelton Simmons bathing in fifty-eight million dollars:

    Have suggestions or want to be featured in HDWEB? Send links to Justin at @justinbopp and hashtag #HDWEB.

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