November 13, 2015 / 3:21 AM / 3 years ago

Angels, Braves swap shortstops

September 6, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar (2) celebrates after scoring a run in the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Angels and Atlanta Braves traded starting shortstops in a five-player swap on Thursday with Erick Aybar going to Atlanta and Andrelton Simmons joining the Angels.

Atlanta also received minor league pitchers Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis along with $2.5 million, while Los Angeles added minor league catcher Jose Briceno as part of the deal.

Aybar, 31, who began his Major League Baseball career with the Angels in 2006, becomes a free agent at the end of the 2016 season. Defensive wizard Simmons, a 26-year-old from Curacao, provides Los Angeles with a new fixture at the position.

“We are extremely excited to acquire an impact shortstop and one that fits our championship standards,” said Angels general manager Billy Eppler.

“To know we have a player with Andrelton’s talents, drive and competitiveness at such a young age signed through 2020 is a vital step in adding to our core group.”

Aybar batted .270 with 30 doubles last season, while Simmons hit .265 and was named Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Larry Fine

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