For hours, he sat in the same chair, awed and happy, as he watched Andrelton Simmons swing his batting-practice bat.

The Angels owner waited until Simmons' big day ended and then hailed the shortstop and shortstop prospect. He acted the way a man who knows something is coming when a big move needs to be made.

That's why he called Simmons the "most exciting player in baseball," and said he's a "proud Angel who has brought a sense of excitement and loyalty to the franchise and our fans."

The same can be said of Kole Calhoun. The same can be said of Cliff Pennington. The same can be said of C.J. Cron. Of the infielders the Angels selected in the 2009 draft, only Simmons and Pennington have had success.

Two of them will be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Calhoun is hitting .269 with a .811 OPS. Pennington, who's in the latter stages of the contract year, is hitting .243 with a .717 OPS.

But as excited as the Angels are for Simmons, who was given the annual MVP Award for young players and was voted the best shortstop in baseball in 2015 by the Baseball Writers Assn., they don't want to get ahead of themselves in terms of renewing a deal with him.

"We'd like him to re-sign with us," General Manager Billy Eppler said. "I think he'd like to re-sign with us. I don't think the door's closed."

In other words, they know they need to keep an eye on what the Dodgers are doing with Manny Machado. The same goes for Bryce Harper. Any of those three could double-up as options at shortstop. Eppler pointed out that, with or without Simmons, the Angels feel they have the necessary position to contend, and he added that he expects Simmons and Pennington to play as a tandem.

"If they're going to be a tandem in the future, I think we'll be OK," Eppler said.

But it's not just about Simmons. It's about how he fits in the clubhouse.

The Angels need to use him as a catalyst to draw guys like Calhoun, Cron and Mike Trout and get them to play together and be better together.

"The cornerstone of all of this will be young core players like Andrelton Simmons, Cliff Pennington, Kole Calhoun and Cam Bedrosian who have a chance to compete for a World Series in 2019," Eppler said.

Simmons is focused on the present. He said he's been doing his best to re-learn the customs and customs of the Angels, but he doesn't want to get too caught up in the big picture. He's just happy to be re-acquainted with the team that drafted him in the ninth round in 2007.

He's enjoying playing for Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, who "pushes me to the limit every single day." He loves watching Albert Pujols at first base. And his girlfriend has been a big help.

"I'm playing with both Kailee and my wife right now," he said. "She's done a fantastic job. She's awesome."

Despite the fanfare, the reality is there's no salary cap for free agents and minor leaguers, and Eppler could choose to trade Pennington to get a major-league outfielder.

The Dodgers have two corner outfielders, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, who are signed through 2021. So they could look for a right-handed hitter to play center field. But Simmons said he won't be too disenchanted if the Angels' plans don't include him.

"I know I'm going to play," he said. "No matter what."

How long will he stay? The Angels can't force him to do anything. But Simmons, who has two years and $17.9 million left on his contract, knows what he wants: to be a star.

To get to that point, he needs a good team with lots of young players like Calhoun, Cron and Trout.