It’s not very often when a team admits that a move was a disaster. Bad teams especially cling to hope that players will recover value. The Minnesota Twins had to make this call earlier in 2021 when they designated Matt Shoemaker for assignment after he posted an abysmal 8.06 ERA over 16 games. It may be time to make that call again.
When the Twins added Andrelton Simmons back in January, the hope would be that he would come in and serve as a one year stop-gap on a playoff contender until Royce Lewis was ready in 2022. When Lewis went down with injury, it seemed even more clear how important Simmons was to the team.
He was brought in to provide excellent defense and be a solid veteran presence in the locker room. Coming off of a season where he hit .297 with a .346 OBP, there was also some hope that he’d provide a positive bat to the lineup. None of that has materialized.
The Minnesota Twins’ signing of Simmons has been a disaster.
Simmons is currently in the midst of the worst season of his career, slashing .222/.285/.277, all career lows. His speed is gone, his already minimal power diminished and his defensive numbers have rebounded slightly from last year, but 2021 still appears to be the second-worst season of his career defensively.
He’s had issues off the field as well. Simmons has been a bit of a clubhouse issue, not getting along well with his teammates and drawing the ire of the fanbase. He certainly hasn’t done himself any favors.
During the July 31st trade deadline, shipping Simmons off for anything they could get back (similar to the Hansel Robles deal seemed like a smart move. All the way back in May, I argued that Simmons should be dealt before anyone else was. That didn’t happen, as no contender seemed interested, leaving the Twins stuck with him.
There is still one option left for the team. Designating Simmons for assignment or outright releasing him may be the best decision for both team and player. Allowing him to see if he can catch on with a contender helps him and allows the Twins to get more playing time for some of their younger players.
Nick Gordon, Jorge Polanco, Luis Arraez, and Jose Miranda all need time in the infield, specifically at second base. But Gordon and Polanco can play short, allowing Miranda and Arraez time at second and third. Miranda has been on fire in the minors, and it doesn’t make sense to keep playing Simmons when he’s ready to go.
It’s time to for the Minnesota Twins to realize a mistake was made and stop putting him out on the field every day and clear the way for younger talent. Especially when that talent can provide better results.