On November 12th 2015, Jesse Sanchez broke the news that the Angels traded away SS Erick Aybar, Chris Ellis and Sean Newcomb for the defensive gold glove winner Adrelton Simmons. About 7 months later, could Aybar be heading back to Anaheim?
With the shortstop trade, the Angels looked to enhance their defense and have done so with Simmons this year, however with countless injuries, the Angels have not seen much of their new gold glove winner. Last year Simmons was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year, with a batting average of (.252/.301/.357) His bat may not be the best, but he’s a defensive ace who saved an MLB-best 94 runs last year. Earlier this month, Simmons suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb which will sit him out 6-8 weeks or until late July.
The Angels then substituted in SS Cliff Pennington for the injured Simmons, but he too would join the disabled injury list. Pennington would go on the 15 day DL list for a left hamstring strain. With the number 1 and 2 SS’s now hurt, the Angels now looked deeper into their organization. Gregorio Petit was the next player to claim the SS role, and surprisingly he has not gotten hurt yet. (Knock on wood) In his last 15 games Petit has 42 AB’s with 4 Runs, 11 Hits, 3 RBI’s, 7 SO’s with a .262 batting average. Not bad if you ask me, but he ain’t no Simmons, or Aybar. Let’s look on the flip side now.
Erick Aybar is with his new team in Atlanta, but it has to be hard especially for someone who played over 10 years with the Angels. Remember this trade came out of nowhere, so image hearing it from Aybar’s point of view. In his 11th season, it hurts me write this as Aybar is having his worst start yet in his career. In 141 At Bats, Aybar has 25 Hits, 4 Doubles, and 6 RBI’s. It gets worse, Aybar also has 28 strikeouts with a batting average of .177. Aybar is the go ahead starter at Shortstop but braves fans are especially upset that Aybar is quite the opposite of Simmons so far. Fans are ‘booing’ him, wanting him to be cut, and be done with. It’s been a rough season for the new shortstop, I mean he even chocked on a chicken bone during his lunch before a game and had to be hospital to get it removed.
If Aybar continues to struggle in Atlanta, he will get replaced. Aybar, 32, is making a solid $8.5 MIL This year, but his performance is nowhere near that price. I wonder if the Angels will make some type of deal to the Braves where if Atlanta continues to pay off his contract and the Halo’s send over some cheap player, Aybar could be heading back home to Anaheim. I think Aybar is a little home sick, he needs to feel the love again. He went into a position where Braves fans were already doubting him because there is only one Simmons. Does this trade happen? The possibility of it happening are very slim, but don’t be surprised if it happens….