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Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons makes puzzling opt-out decision with less than a week to go

Andrelton Simmons, Angels, MLB

Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons made an interesting decision on Tuesday as the 31-year-old Curaçao native announced he’s opting out of the remainder of the 2020 Major League Baseball season.

Simmons, a four-time Gold Glove winner for his defensive prowess at shortstop, is leaving the Angels with only five games to spare in the truncated, 60-game MLB season in 2020, a year racked with the coronavirus pandemic influencing the shortened campaign.

The Angels are seven games below .500 and are unlikely to reach the postseason despite an expanded playoff format instituted for the 2020 World Series chase along with possessing all-world superstar outfielder Mike Trout. The top two teams of every division will make the playoffs along with two Wild Card teams in the American and National Leagues.

The AL West Angels are effectively eliminated from the playoffs with 4.5 games behind the second Wild Card team Toronto Blue Jays.

To add another wrinkle to the opt-out decision, Simmons will be a free agent at the conclusion of the 2020 season; he was traded by his original team the Atlanta Braves back in 2015 after signing a seven-year deal the previous offseason. Simmons’ decision to opt out of the remaining games of the season may very well prematurely end his tenure with the Angels.

“Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association developed an environment and system that empowered players and provided us the opportunity to decide on whether to play or opt out of the season,” Simmons said in a statement, per the LA Times. “At this moment, I feel this is the best decision for me and for my family.

“We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

He added, “I enjoy the company of my teammates. I enjoy the city. I like the stadium. So that’s all I’ve got for you.”

Simmons batted .297 with a .346 on-base percentage and a .356 slugging percentage in 127 place appearances in 30 games in 2020, adding 10 RBI in perhaps his final season with the Angels.