In what has been the biggest deal to date on the hot stove, the Angels have acquired slick fielding shortstop Andrelton Simmons from the Atlanta Braves in a five-player trade. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com was the first to report the trade.
The full deal involves the Braves receiving pitcher Sean Newcomb, shortstop Erick Aybar and pitcher Chris Ellis, plus "about $3 million." The money is presumably to offset part of Aybar's $8.5 million salary he will make in 2016, the final year of his contract.
The Angels also received minor league catcher Jose Briceno in the trade.
Simmons, who was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year in all of baseball on Wednesday, has five years and $53 million remaining on a contract extension he signed with the Braves in February 2014.
The 26-year-old shortstop hit .265/.321/.338 in 147 games with the Braves in 2015, and in his career is just a .256/.304/.362 hitter in parts of four seasons, but he makes his impact on defense. Simmons led major league shortstops with 25 Defensive Runs Saved in 2015, and since his major league debut has 113 DRS, the most in the majors during that time.
Most Defensive Runs Saved - Shortstops Since 2012 Andrelton Simmons 113 Brandon Crawford 42— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 13, 2015
Through Ultimate Zone Rating, Simmons has saved 68 runs during that span, also tops among major league shortstops during that span.
The Dodgers and Padres were also rumored to be interested in Simmons to some degree.
This is the first big move for new Angels general manager Billy Eppler, hired in Anaheim on Oct. 5. But the former Yankees assistant GM is no stranger to Simmons.
Angels new gm Billy eppler loves simmons. Yanks made big play for andrelton a year ago. Aybar can play 2B.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 12, 2015
"We are extremely excited to acquire an impact short-stop and one that fits our Championship Standards," Eppler said in a statement. "Andrelton provides us up the middle foundation at a premium position for years to come. To know we have a player with Andrelton’s talents, drive and competitiveness at such a young age signed through 2020 is a vital step in adding to our core group."
Newcomb, 22, was 9-3 with a 2.38 ERA in 27 starts between Class-A and Double-A in 2015, with 168 strikeouts and 76 walks in 136 innings. He was rated as the Angels top prospect by Baseball America heading into the season, and the No. 70 prospect in baseball overall. The 22-year-old was drafted by the Angels in the first round in 2014.
Ellis, rated the fourth-best prospect in the Angels system by BA before the season, was 11-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 26 starts across Class-A and Double-A in 2015, with 132 strikeouts and 63 walks in 141 innings.
Briceno, 23, hit just .183/.215/.267 in 88 games for Class-A Carolina in 2015, his sixth minor league season.