Braves and Dansby Swanson Still Have Mutual Interest in a New Deal

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Braves and Dansby Swanson Still Have Mutual Interest in a New Deal

Chicago Cubs

When we talk about the big-time free agent shortstops and the offseason ahead, we pretty much talk exclusively about Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, and Xander Bogaerts. Left out of most of those conversations is Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson.

I think the explanation there is simple enough: unlike the first three, Swanson has never been tied by name to a Chicago Cubs rumor. And, for whatever reason, it has simply always felt like Swanson was the most likely of the four to re-sign with his current team.

That said, no deal has been done just yet between the Braves and Swanson, so who knows. Maybe he actually will reach free agency and shop around.

The only update we’ve gotten on Swanson and the Braves is confirmation from Braves President Alex Anthopoulos that both sides are interested in getting a deal done:

You don’t hear much about the Dodgers retaining Trea Turner. We know that the Twins want to keep Carlos Correa, but it sure sounds unlikely to happen. The Red Sox have tried to initiate early extension talks with Xander Bogaerts, but they did just spend a whole lot of money on a ready-made replacement in Trevor Story. Take that all together with the openness among the Braves and Swanson about wanting a reunion, and he seems like the best bet to do it.

Because the Braves arguably have an internal replacement ready in Vaughn Grissom (i.e., if not Swanson, they probably would not sign any of the other three), you would root for no extension here, even if you don’t want Swanson on the Cubs. More options on the market is a good thing for the Cubs’ efforts.

I have a very tough time delineating among the four free agent shortstops, because really, all have their merits. Carlos Correa probably gets the slight edge for me (age and relatively consistent offensive AND defensive track record), and Swanson probably comes slightly in fourth, but it’s not like I’d be complaining if the Cubs landed any of them.

The hitch with Swanson is that, before 2022, he rated as a solid-but-unspectacular bat and glove combo. Then, this season, he not only posted the best offensive season of his career, but he also rated as uber-elite defensively. It was all quite a leap. Maybe it was him turning a corner at age 28, or maybe there was a lot of good fortunate and defensive small samples baked in there. If you’re signing him to a nine-figure deal, you have to be pretty darn sure Swanson is now officially closer to the guy he was in 2022 than the guy he was for the preceding six seasons.

If we get a whiff of Swanson actually hitting the market, we can dig in more aggressively. For now, I tend to think it’s the other three gents who will actually be there as options for the Cubs.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.