When the Cubs signed Andrelton Simmons in March, it looked like he would get the most time at shortstop this season with Nico Hoerner also working in a fair amount.
That plan never came to fruition, and the Cubs parted ways with the veteran by designating him for assignment Saturday
“Andrelton was nothing but a pro,” manager David Ross said. “It’s just this year has not gone the way any of us expected.
"Starting off hurt, the shoulder. He’s never had a shoulder issue in his career and just dealing with that and trying to come back."
The Cubs signed Simmons, a four-time Gold Glove winner, to a one-year deal after MLB’s lockout to bolster their infield defense behind a contact-oriented starting rotation.
But he played only one game in the abbreviated spring training before being sidelined with a sore shoulder, which delayed his regular season debut until mid-May.
By then, Hoerner was well on his way to establishing himself as a reliable everyday option at shortstop. After Hoerner returned from an ankle injury at the end of May, the Cubs said he would stay at short, with Simmons sliding over to second.
Simmons went back on the injured list with a shoulder issue right before the All-Star break, and though he recently started a rehab assignment, it was difficult to see a fit for him in the infield picture.
“There's no room for him, to be honest,” Ross said of Simmons.
The Cubs have a packed depth chart with versatility between Hoerner, Patrick Wisdom, Christopher Morel, Zach McKinstry, all of whom can play at least two positions.
Morel and McKinstry can play a handful of positions, including shortstop, and the Cubs have David Bote in Triple-A Iowa if they need to call up an infielder in a pinch.
Nick Madrigal also returned from the IL this week, and the Cubs want to get him consistent at-bats.
Ross, who said he talked to Simmons Friday, spoke highly of the veteran shortstop and the way he carried himself during his time with the team.
“Phenomenal person, great professional,” Ross said. “I'm going to miss him personally; really good conversations.
"Just one of those situations that he very much understood. It’s a part of baseball.”
In 35 games, Simmons slashed .173/.244/.187.