FanPost

Shortstop Prediction

I have a hunch that Stephen Drew would like to sign with the Atlanta Braves. He was born and raised in Georgia, he married his high school sweetheart, he prefers a private, conservative life, his brother J.D. and family live in Georgia - there's good reasons to believe he'd want to sign there - IF the Braves had an opening for him.

But the Braves also have one of the most desirable shortstops in baseball, Andrelton Simmons. A converted pitcher, Simmons is widely considered to be the heir apparent to Brendan Ryan's title of B.D.A.B. (Best Defender in All of Baseball). I'm writing this in 10 minutes, but I'd be grateful if one of you could link in the comment threads to some of the incredible gifs of Simmons' plays this year, or his defensive scouting reports.

In only 49 games last year, Simmons produced 2.2 wins. Basically, he played one third of the season and produced the value of a league-average shortstop over a full season. A lot of his value is tied up in his defense, but he showed signs that he could hold his own with the bat last year as well.

The past 10 years, the A's have seemed to consciously avoid putting bad defenders on the field - at the expense of their offense - and that's why I can't see them making a play for a poor defensive shortstop.

I could see the Braves signing Drew, and using Simmons as trade bait to shore up their weaknesses elsewhere. I think the A's would need to back the truck up for Simmons, but the A's actually have the depth to do exactly that, both in the outfield, and throughout their pitching staff.

Solving the shortstop problem so cheaply would also enable to the A's to sign McCarthy. And if the deal for Simmons involved Young or Crisp (with the A's eating some salary), it would open up a roster spot for the return of Gomes, which probably benefits all parties.

Billy Beane has a history of re-routing talent to the National League rather than help a team he's competing with for a playoff spot, and I suspect he'll solve this offseason's shortstop problem that way as well.

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