Braves continue with extensions, lock up Simmons

Braves continue with extensions, lock up Simmons
February 20, 2014, 5:45 pm
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Tis' the season for long-term contract extensions in Atlanta. Within weeks of signing Freddie Freeman, Julio Teheran, and Craig Kimbrel to multi-year deals, the Braves have now done the same with star shortstop Andrelton Simmons. The 24-year-old has agreed to a seven-year deal worth $58 million.

Entering his third MLB season, Simmons had a breakout year in 2013. He earned a Gold Glove and placed 14th in NL MVP voting. The former second round pick hit .248/.296/.396 in 157 games with 17 home runs, 59 RBI and 76 runs scored.

Simmons is a cornerstone piece for the Braves who are locking up their young players left and right. He is part of a group of budding stars that figure to define the Braves for much of the next decade.

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Simmons flashed potential on offense last season, but is known even more for his defense. He posted the best Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) among MLB shortstops last season at 24.6. In 1,352 1/3 total innings he committed just 14 errors and held a .981 fielding percentage.