February 7, 2023


The Chicago Cubs brought Andrilton Simmons back from the injury list on Saturday and then later Same for appointment. Simmons has not played since July 10 due to a right shoulder injury. The Cubs will now have seven days to either compromise or release.

Simmons, 32, signed a one-year, $4 million agreement in March to provide the Cubs with veteran depth. Shoulder inflammation caused him to miss the start of the season, and he was largely ineffective upon his return. In fact, he hit in 34 games with 173/.244/.187 (24 OPS+) with one hit for an extra base across 85 board appearances. He saw his first major action in a position other than short-stopping, appearing in 18 games as the second captain. He made his field show debut as well, throwing a run against the Cincinnati Reds in late May as part of a 20-5 loss.

Simmons was never known for his offensive ability, but his racket hit new lows dating back to last season. In 165 games, he posted a slash of 0.216/.277/.261 and 52 OPS+. His average exit velocity dropped into the low 80s during that period, indicating that he was no longer able to hit the ball hard — or at least, with power compared to his earlier standards.

Simmons is the second veteran player signed by the Cubs over the winter to be released in recent weeks, joining Jonathan Villar. He’s the third notable veteran to be handed a pink slip since the Major League Baseball trade deadline expired on Tuesday: Earlier in the week, the Boston Red Sox fired back Jackie Bradley Jr. while the Philadelphia Phillies did the same to stop Diddy Gregory.

For their part, the Cubs will start at the starting center of the field consisting of Nico Horner and second baseman Nick Madrigal. The Cubs also showed a willingness to give the outstanding rookie Christopher Morell a burn-in in both positions.

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