Toronto Blue Jays eyeing Andrelton Simmons: what’s the effect on the infield?

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 12: Andrelton Simmons of the Los Angeles Angels looks on between innings. Blue Jays are interested in signing Simmons. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 12: Andrelton Simmons of the Los Angeles Angels looks on between innings. Blue Jays are interested in signing Simmons. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

According to reports, the Toronto Blue Jays are interested in free-agent Andrelton Simmons. How could he fit into the young Blue Jays infield? How does it affect Bo Bichette?

The list of shortstops on the free-agent market is pretty thin in quantity, but there is lots of quality. Andrelton Simmons is one of four true shortstops on the free-agent market alongside Marcus Semien, Didi Gregorius, and Freddy Galvis. The Toronto Blue Jays showed interest in trading for Simmons before the trade deadline this past season, and seem keen on signing him in the offseason.

The former Angels shortstop is 31-years-old and played only half of the games during the 2020 regular season. Simmons battled injuries in 2020 and even had issues in 2019. This is a bit of a concern for any team interested in bringing Simmons on board, but his four Gold Glove Awards standout. Simmons has also won a Platinum Glove Award and Wilson Defensive Player of the Year. Interestingly enough, he has not been selected as an All-Star yet.

Besides Simmons, there are rumors that the Blue Jays are also interested in Francisco Lindor or Didi Gregorius. I would not be surprised if Marcus Semien was also thrown into the Blue Jays conversation. What is most shocking about this information is that the Blue Jays have Bo Bichette. It is not like Bichette retired, or got traded, or played badly in 2020. The young shortstop has had a great start to his career and has a .307 batting average over two seasons.

The Blue Jays are wanting a short-medium term upgrade at shortstop while Bichette continues to improve. The hitting stats may not differ too much, but the defensive upgrade Andrelton Simmons brings to the table is enormous. Simmons has had double-digit defensive runs saved above average every season except for last season. He even had 40 defensive runs saved above average in 2017. Bo Bichette on the other hand had four defensive runs saved in 2019, and negative one in 2020.

So what does all of this mean for the Blue Jays infield? Here are three scenarios I envision if Simmons goes to Toronto.