NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — According to CBSSports.com/WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman, the Mets have interest in Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons.
Simmons, just 26, signed a seven-year, $58 million deal with Atlanta in 2014. He won’t be eligible for free agency until 2021.
As expected, Braves general manager John Coppolella is asking for a big return in exchange for Simmons.
According to Heyman, the Braves want one of the Mets’ top four starters. But Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has made it clear that he’s not looking to trade Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz.
The Mets could use an upgrade at the shortstop position. Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores had nice seasons for New York in 2015, but Simmons is arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball. He’s a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, three-time Fielding Bible Award winner and three-time Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award winner.
In 535 at-bats this past season, Simmons hit .265 with four home runs and 44 RBIs. He posted a .321 on-base percentage and stole five bases. By contrast, Flores hit .263 with 16 home runs and 59 RBIs in 483 at-bats. He posted a .295 OBP and didn’t steal a base.
The Mets would like to improve defensively, especially up the middle. With Daniel Murphy unlikely to return in 2016, more runs should be saved.
In addition to Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard and Matz, New York has Zack Wheeler coming back from Tommy John surgery. Jon Niese will likely be the fifth starter until Wheeler returns, and Bartolo Colon might be re-signed as insurance.