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Andrelton Simmons rumors: Padres, Dodgers, Angels are interested

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The best defensive shortstop in baseball is apparently drawing some interest.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Late Wednesday night, Jonah Keri broke news that a trade for Andrelton Simmons involving a team from the NL West could be imminent:

Since then however, the news has blown up and Jon Heyman is now reporting that more than six teams have contacted the Atlanta Braves regarding Simmons' availability:

The Braves, who unloaded contracts last off-season, should definitely listen to offers, especially if the interest is this high. Simmons is signed until 2020 and is still due $53 million on a heavily back-loaded contract. That's still very affordable for a shortstop of his ilk. Furthermore, the market for a middle-infielder seems extremely thin this off-season. Ben Zobrist is likely the most tantalizing name, but he is joined by the likes of Stephen Drew, Asdrubal Cabrera, Alexei Ramirez, and Jimmy Rollins. Brandon Phillips has reportedly been made available via trade as well.

Among the teams interested in Simmons, reports have indicated the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Los Angeles Angels. Which leaves at least four mystery teams.

The Padres seem to be a great fit with Alexi Amarista currently their best option at shortstop. Jedd Gyorko also spent some time at shortstop this past season but cost his team 2.6 runs by FanGraphs Ultimate Zone Rating. There's little doubt that the Padres would prefer to have Gyorko back at his natural position of second base. What's worrying for the Padres is how they could muster up the asking price for Simmons with such a depleted farm system as it is.

The Dodgers are a little more puzzling. With Corey Seager finally looking to break camp, the Dodgers have an heir apparent at shortstop. Seager could be moved over to second base for an extremely formidable middle infield.

The Angels could have a busy off-season going forward trying to fill the many holes they need filled. It's worth noting that Erick Aybar is coming off of his worst hitting season since 2010 and his worst 100+ game season ever.

Whether any of these three teams become the actual landing spot for Simmons is still a long shot. Heyman -- a New Yorker -- brought up how good of a fit the New York Mets could be. He also reported that the Mets hadn't been in contact with the Braves as of Thursday morning:

This report is in conflict with Joel Sherman however, who reported the Mets had been given a preliminary starting point:

Conflicting reports like these can be difficult to reconcile, but it's all a matter of who leaked which story to whom. If the Mets felt it was in their best interest to make Simmons' asking price public, then that could have been how this played out, but it's all speculation at the moment. All we know is the asking price for Simmons with this many teams involved is extremely high to start out. The Braves and John Coppolella seem to be opening with the high asking price this early in the off-season until something sticks.