Phillies' focus now shifts to shortstop


Update: All three of Andrelton Simmons, Marcus Semien and Freddy Galvis agreed to deals Tuesday — per reports, Simmons went to the Twins, Semien to the Blue Jays and Galvis to the Orioles.

Now that they have their catcher, what’s next for the Phillies?

A shortstop.

A shortstop who can play strong defense behind a staff that features a number of groundball pitchers?

Andrelton Simmons is one of the very best defensive shortstops in the game and sources say he became the team’s top target at the position.

Simmons, 31, broke in with the Braves in 2012. He spent the last five seasons with the Angels before becoming a free agent in the fall. He is a lifetime .269 hitter with a .696 OPS. He doesn’t strike out a lot, but he also doesn’t walk a lot.

He agreed to a one-year deal Tuesday with the Twins for $10.5 million, according to ESPN.

The Phillies have also been in contact with free agents Didi Gregorius, Marcus Semien and Freddy Galvis. Galvis and Semien also came off the board Tuesday on one-year deals — Galvis with the Orioles and Semien with the Blue Jays. 

There had recently been traction between the Phillies and Gregorius about a possible return. 

Phillies starting pitchers had a 49.1 percent groundball rate in 2020, second-best in the majors, so a glove like Simmons’ would have been attractive.

Once the Phils add a shortstop, they will have to determine who their second baseman will be. Returning players Jean Segura and Scott Kingery can both play there. The situation will likely sort itself out in spring training. Second base might be Segura’s best position. If he plays there, Kingery could be used in a super-utility role and help in center field. Segura’s name has also been mentioned as a trade possibility so that could affect the situation.


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