AL West Watch: Angels Land Big-Time Shortstop

Mets-Braves Simmons and d'Arnaud
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So far since the 2015 season ended, there have been two big trades in Major League Baseball, and both featured an AL West team that will be trying to unseat the division champion Rangers in 2016.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Angels struck a deal with the Atlanta Braves that the Angels appear to have won, if you listen to the near universal response from the national baseball media.

The Angels landed 26-year-old shortstop Andrelton Simmons from the Braves for veteran shortstop Erick Aybar and their top prospect, along with more. It was a steep price to pay, but the Angels' system isn't known as being particularly good, so the Braves' return is questionable for a guy that has led all MLB shortstops in defensive runs saved for quite some time now.

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Simmons is adequate at the plate, hitting a career-high .265 a year ago, to go with four homers and 44 RBIs. But his real value is in the field, where he won NL Gold Glove awards in both 2013 and 2014 and probably could've won it this past year after he had just eight errors and a career-high fielding percentage of .988.

Simmons is signed through 2020 at a pretty affordable rate, so the Angels got a win on this one.

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