Braves Trade SS Andrelton Simmons To Angels

The Atlanta Braves dealt shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels Thursday. Simmons is a talented young shortstop, and the Angels paid a steep price to acquire him. In exchange for Simmons, the Angels are sending shortstop Erick Aybar and pitching prospects Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis to the Braves. 

Last season, Simmons hit .265 with a .321 on-base percentage and 44 RBIs. Simmons is widely considered one of the top defensive shortstops in the majors and is only 26 years old. The former second round MLB Draft pick won the Gold Glove in 2013 and 2014. He signed a 7-year, $58 million dollar contract in February 2014. 

Aybar has spent his entire career with the Angels, and at age 31, could be a stop-gap measure for the Braves. He's a career .276 hitter, but isn't the great defensive player Simmons is. Aybar won a Gold Glove in 2011 and was an All-Star in 2014.

Newcomb is the Angels' top pitching prospect and a Top 50 prospect in baseball. The Angles took the 22-year-old with the 15th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. He finished in Double-A ball last season and likely isn't ready to start next season with the major league team. In 33 starts in the minors, Newcomb holds a 9-4 record, a 2.75 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. 

Ellis is another young pitching prospect, although not as highly touted as Newcomb. He was with the Angels' Double-A team to close the season. He was the club's third round pick in the 2014 Draft. Ellis posted an 11-10 record, a 4.21 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in the minors. He struggled in rookie ball in 2014, but has improved throughout his time in the minors.  

The Braves have young Albies Ozhaino in the minors at shortstop. He has potential, but is just 18 years old and might not be ready to contribute. Aybar could serve as the short-term shortstop until Ozhaino is ready. However, for a rebuilding team like the Braves, they could try to deal Aybar for more prospects.

The Angels also get catcher Jose Briceno from the Braves. The 23-year-old started with the Rockies in 2010, but has never advanced beyond Single-A. 

The move to trade Simmons away is a clear indication the Braves are entering a full-scale rebuilding mode. 

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Related Topics: Angels News, Braves News, Andrelton Simmons, Erick Aybar