October 6, 2022


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USATSI

The Chicago Cubs reinstated infielder Andrelton Simmons from the injured list Saturday and beyond appointed him for assignment. Simmons had not appeared in a game since July 10 with a strained right shoulder. The Cubs will now have seven days to place him on waivers or release him.

Simmons, 32, signed a one-year, $4 million deal in March to provide the Cubs with a veteran infield. However, shoulder inflammation caused him to miss the season opener and he was largely ineffective in his return. Indeed, in 34 games he hit .173/.244/.187 (24 OPS+) with one extra base hit in 85 plate appearances. He saw his first major league action at a position other than shortstop, appearing in 18 games as a second baseman. He also made his first pitching appearance, going one inning against the Cincinnati Reds in late May as part of a 20-5 loss.

Simmons has never been known for his offensive prowess, but his bat has reached new lows dating back to last season. In 165 games, he has posted a .216/.277/.261 slash line and a 52 OPS+. His average exit velocity has dropped into the low 80s during that span, suggesting that he is no longer able to hit the ball with authority — or, at least, with authority relative to his previous standards.

Simmons is the second veteran outfielder the Cubs signed this winter to be released in recent weeks, along with Jonathan Villar. He is the third notable veteran to be given a pink slip after Major League Baseball’s trade deadline passed on Tuesday: Earlier in the week, the Boston Red Sox released outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. while the Philadelphia Phillies did the same to shortstop Didi Gregorius.

The Cubs, for their part, will go with a starting middle infield of shortstop Nico Hoerner and second baseman Nick Madrigal. The Cubs also showed a willingness to give rookie standout Christopher Morel a burn at both positions.





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