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Shortstop Andrelton Simmons and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a seven-year $58 million contract extension on Thursday. The deal buys up Simmons’ five arbritration years and his two free-agent seasons.
The deal is good through the 2020 season, and is the largest deal ever made to a non-foreign player with less than two years left on his contract.
Simmons, 24, showed his potential last year, but his performance at defense got him the extension. Last year he hit .248 with 17 home runs and drove in 59 runs. He led the majors with 499 assists and won his first Gold Glove award last year, according to the Associated Press.
In 840 career at-bats, Simmons has hit .256/.304/.400 with 20 home runs and a 90 OPS.
"We feel that Andrelton is one of the premier shortstops in the game today, and we are happy that we were able to agree on this multiyear contract," Braves general manager Frank Wren said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.
This month has been a busy one for the Braves. They signed first baseman Freddie Freeman, outfielder Jason Heyward, closer Craig Kimbrel, and right-hander Julio Teheran to multi-year deals. Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez have also been given contract extensions.
The Braves have given more than $269 million in salary with contract extensions to four players this month, according to Fox Sports. Freeman signed for $135 million, Kimbrel signed for $44 million, and Teheran signed for $32.5 million.
Simmons’ extension with the Braves is huge and a big win for the Braves. The Braves lost Tim Hudson and catcher Brian McCann as free-agents last year and Chipper Jones retired after the 2012 season. That means Simmons, Freeman, Heyward, Kimbrel, Teheran, Justin Upton, and left-hander Mike Minor are the future of the Braves. Simmons is a good player and it will be interesting to see how he and the other players the Braves have signed do this year.
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