Cubs advance from Andrelton Simmons with DFA amid field blockades

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Cubs move on from Simmons with DFA amid infield log jam originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

When the Cubs signed Andrelton Simmons in March, it looked like he would be getting the most time at shortstop this season, while Nico Hoerner would also be working for a decent amount of money.

That plan never materialized and the Cubs said goodbye to the veteran by designating him for the assignment Saturday

“Andrelton was nothing but a professional,” said manager David Ross. “It’s just that this year hasn’t gone as we expected.

“Starting pain, the shoulder. He has never had a shoulder problem in his career and just dealing with that and trying to come back.”

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The Cubs signed Simmons, a four-time Gold Glove winner, to a one-year contract following the MLB lockout to bolster their field defenses behind a contact-focused starting rotation.

But he only played one game in shortened spring training before being sidelined with a sore shoulder, delaying his regular season debut until mid-May.

By this time, Hoerner was well on its way to establishing itself as a reliable everyday shortstop option. After Hoerner returned from an ankle injury in late May, the Cubs said he would be short, with Simmons slipping to second.

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Simmons went back on the injured list with a shoulder problem just before the All-Star break, and although he recently started a rehab assignment, it was hard to see a suitability for him in the infield photo.

“To be honest, there’s no room for him,” Ross said of Simmons.

The Cubs have a packed depth map with versatility between Hoerner, Patrick Wisdom, Christopher Morel, Zach McKinstry, all of whom can play in at least two positions.

Morel and McKinstry can play in a handful of positions, including shortstop, and the Cubs have David Bote in Triple-A Iowa if they need to call up an infielder in a pinch.

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Nick Madrigal also returned from the IL this week and the Cubs are looking to give him consistent at bats.

Ross, who said he spoke to Simmons on Friday, praised the experienced shortstop and the way he behaved during his time with the team.

“Phenomenal person, great professional,” Ross said. “I will personally miss him; really good conversations.

“It’s just one of those situations that he understood very well. It’s part of baseball.”

In 35 games, Simmons defeated .173/.244/.187.

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