Smith, 23, hit .238 with a .316 OBP in 72 games as a Braves rookie, totaling 14 extra-base hits (four triples, three homers) and 16 stolen bases in 24 attempts. The former minor league stolen-base-leader missed 10 weeks with a broken thumb after being hit by a pitch in June, and became expendable following a trade for veteran left fielder Matt Kemp coupled by the emergence of Ender Inciarte as a Gold Glove center fielder and effective leadoff hitter.
Last month, the Braves signed Inciarte to a five-year, $30.525 million contract.
Simmons, 26, was impressive as a rookie in 2014, when he looked like a future closer or setup candidate while posting 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings over 26 appearances. But he blew out his elbow just before 2015 spring training and missed most of the past two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery and related setbacks.
The right-hander returned in September and posted a 1.35 ERA in seven appearances with three strikeouts and no walks in 6 2/3 innings, but didn’t pitch after Sept. 18 due to forearm soreness.
“We felt like we were dealing from a position of strength with both players,” Coppolella said, “and we are going to keep building around young power pitching.”