Thanks to an MLB Network question to Jon Morosi about Dansby Swanson and the Chicago Cubs, the outgoing(?) Atlanta Braves shortstop has been the topic of the day in a lot of Cubs internet corners.
I thought Morosi’s comment that he’d be very surprised if the Cubs didn’t land ONE of the top four shortstops was a little more noteworthy than his answer on Swanson (sure, there could be a fit there for a couple thin reasons). But I understand that, in this climate, if anyone starts attaching Swanson to the Cubs BEFORE the other three (who are preferable) actually sign, people will recoil.
Me? Yeah, I prefer the other three to Swanson, but if Swanson is what ended up happening, I can see reasons to be happy about that, depending on what else the Cubs do. I don’t see why I should be yelling negative things about Swanson at the moment, just because he’s fourth out of the current four shortstops on the market. In another year, he might’ve been the top shortstop on the market. In any case, he would be a clear upgrade for the Cubs, who could pair him up the middle with Nico Hoerner. I could see that being a very good fit! (Even if, again, I’d much rather see the Cubs land one of Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, or Xander Bogaerts.)
Anyway, Swanson was on folks’ minds today, and that wasn’t limited to the Cubs’ space. You also had Atlanta beat writer David O’Brien openly speculating – speculating! – about Swanson and the St. Louis Cardinals:
The Cardinals have been mentioned at the periphery of the shortstop market, which I think is where they belong. They are in a win-now moment, and they could stand to have a big upgrade at shortstop. But they also do have some huge contracts on the books, and Masyn Winn at Double-A. I can see the arguments for and against the Cardinals being aggressive on any of these shortstops.
But what about Swanson, specifically, who figures to land the smallest contract of the bunch?
Well, back to MLB Network, where they see the fit:
Yes, the fit makes sense, but Jayson Stark there offers up the same question I had about having $80+ million annually locked up in your infield. I’m not saying that’s good or bad; I’m just not sure if it’s the way the Cardinals would go.
So there’s the question for Cubs fans: would you WANT to see the Cardinals give Dansby Swanson a, say, six-year, $150 million deal? That’s roughly the high-end of the range that’s been guesstimated. I can see him being a reasonably productive value over the course of that contract (ages 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, and 34 seasons), but I could also see that the offensive spike last year was as anomalous as the massive uptick in defensive metrics.
Of course, Swanson would go to the Cardinals and then totally settle into actually BEING the guy he was last year, posting a 5-6 WAR season for each of the next six years. Cardinals voodoo magic …