The Braves’ asking price for Andrelton Simmons is . . . high

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When I saw the Andrelton Simmons rumors last night I reacted like any fan of a team that has literally only one or two reasons to ever watch them, one of which includes Andrelton Simmons‘ defense, might react: I had mini-existential crisis and channeled it into some tweets that seemed funny at the time but were really just sad. I’ll talk with my therapist about that stuff next time I see him. He has come to expect it.

By the light of morning I’m a lot more zen about it all. I realize that there aren’t any decent shortstops available right now, the Braves are going to suck regardless in 2016 and if they can sucker someone like A.J. Preller — for, what, the third time? — then more power to them. All the Braves I’ve rooted for the past several years play on other teams already anyway, so it wouldn’t be that big a change for me.

Today, however, we hear that perhaps the Braves aren’t truly serious about shopping Simmons. Or, at the very least, they’ll only trade him if the other team does something painfully stupid:

Yeah, that ain’t happening. And the Braves know it ain’t happening too, but they suggested it anyway. They suggested it, I suspect, because they realize how funny it is when New Yorkers scoff and get outraged too. “Haha, John, listen. I have it on speaker! Wilpon is going to say ‘fugetaboutit!’ again! This is gold!”

Anyway, it could be the case that the Braves simply don’t want to trade Simmons within the division, asked for something stupid from the Mets and are being more reasonable with other suitors. Suitors who, based on random chatter this morning, include the Padres, Dodgers and Angels. It could be the case that they don’t really plan to trade him at all but are doing some due diligence just in case.

All I know for sure is that if they want to keep asking for silly things from teams for a player they probably don’t really want to trade, I’m cool with it. I won’t panic until they ask for borderline reasonable things from teams for him.

Yasiel Puig is still a free agent

Yasiel Puig
Jason Miller/Getty Images
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Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.

There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.

The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.