Simmons not yet thinking future beyond '20

September 16th, 2020

Angels shortstop is headed into free agency for the first time in his career, but he said he’s not trying to think about it down the stretch and will wait to see what happens this offseason.

Simmons, 31, said he was unaware of any current talks about a potential extension between the Angels and his agent. The four-time Gold Glove Award winner said he didn’t pay much attention to rumors before the Trade Deadline and isn’t spending much time thinking about his impending free agency right now. The Halos could look to fill the shortstop role internally with David Fletcher, but that would leave a hole at second base.

“I have learned I should only worry about things that are in my control,” Simmons said. “And that's obviously one that isn’t. It is what it is. I'm here ready to play and help, however I can.”

Simmons indicated, though, that he enjoys playing for the Angels. He’s been with the club since 2016, winning American League Gold Gloves in 2017 and ’18. But he’s dealt with a severely sprained ankle in each of the past two seasons. Simmons batted .264/.309/.364 with seven homers and 40 RBIs in 103 games last year and entered Tuesday's series opener against the D-backs hitting .287/.337/.340 with five doubles and seven RBIs in 23 games this season. The Halos have also never reached the postseason with Simmons.

“I enjoy playing here,” Simmons said. “I've had a good time. I made good friends. I like the city. I know at the end of the day, it's not completely in my hands and I know it's a little bit of business, so while I'm here, I'll give everything I've got. I think I've proven that throughout the years of playing banged up or like going full effort on certain things and certain plays. While I'm here, I'm going to give everything I have.”

Simmons added that he’d like to play shortstop for eight to 10 more years and cited Omar Vizquel as one of his inspirations. Vizquel, an 11-time Gold Glove Award winner, played until he was 45 years old.

“You've got to believe in yourself, first and foremost,” Simmons said. “And I know what I bring to the table. This year, I hurt my ankle again. Not playing at 100 percent hurts what I can do, but I know what I'm able to bring to the table every day. If it's experiences, if it's just being aware of what's going on, if it's making plays, I know what I can do. I know how to do it. I have no doubt in my mind I can play for a long time.”

Angels manager Joe Maddon has already expressed a desire to bring back Simmons and said he loves the nine-year veteran’s attitude and feel for the game.

“I really like this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “With good health, there’s no reason he can’t play for a long time. He knows what he’s doing out there. He has this internal clock that he exists with. I don’t know, eight to 10 [years], hope he can, that would mean he has the verve and energy to do that, and that would be wonderful. But talent-wise, the more you’re out there with him, man, the more you appreciate it.”