The Los Angeles Angels have acquired shortstop Andrelton Simmons from the Atlanta Braves, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported on Thursday.
The Angels also received catcher Jose Briceno as part of the deal, as the teams announced.
The Braves received quite a prospect haul in return for Simmons. They received left-hander Sean Newcomb and right-hander Christopher Ellis, the Angels' No. 1 and No. 2 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline's rankings.
Atlanta also received big league shortstop Erick Aybar as part of the deal, as well as $2.5 million in cash.
The past 24 hours have been quite a whirlwind in Simmons rumors. It started last night, with Jonah Keri reporting that the Braves were discussing a Simmons trade with an NL West club.
Those rumors continued to develop throughout today, with the Mets, Angels, Dodgers, and Padres all being connected to the Braves and Simmons at some point. However, the main consensus amongst many around the league was that the Braves were just listening on Simmons up until this point.
The Angels have made upgrading the middle infield a priority this offseason. While Simmons' bat is not nearly as good as his elite defense, he provides an all-around upgrade over Aybar at shortstop. They also get to have Simmons for a long time.
Simmons is signed to an extremely team-friendly deal. The Angels will get five years of him for just $53 million, which would be an extreme discount if Simmons went on the free agent market today. His defense has made him one of the best shortstop in baseball.
The 26-year-old Simmons hit .265/.321/.338 with four home runs and 44 RBIs over 583 plate appearances this past season. According to defensive metrics, he was worth 25 defensive runs saved and posted a 17.5 UZR/150 in 2015. Over his career, he has 113 defensive runs saved, which is most amongst baseball since he started playing. He was worth 3.2 fWAR this season.
The Angels do not get this young and good player at this price for nothing.
They traded their top two prospects to Atlanta, Sean Newcomb and Christopher Ellis, as well as a short-term shortstop replacement in Erick Aybar. Newcomb, a former first round pick, and Ellis, a former third round pick, both finished last season in Double-A.