Jon Heyman Names Cubs the Favorites for Dansby Swanson

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Jon Heyman Names Cubs the Favorites for Dansby Swanson

Chicago Cubs

Subject to Jeff Passan’s apt thoughts on how we have to be careful about what it means to be a “favorite” for a given player, it’s still worth hearing the information. You just have to keep it all in context, and know that it is far from the same thing as saying “this thing is going to happen.”

Tonight, Jon Heyman laid out the favorites for each of the top nine free agents, and he the Chicago Cubs as the favorite for shortstop Dansby Swanson:

Dansby Swanson: If rumors are true that the Braves didn’t accede to his $140 million counter — the same deal Trevor Story and Javier Baez got — it’s obvious why some Atlanta people are pessimistic. Still, he is from Georgia. Favorites: 1. Cubs; 2. Braves.

Swanson at six years and $140 million is a pretty steep price tag, though prices seem to be climbing this offseason regardless. I think you could probably make the argument that any of Báez, Story, or Swanson was “better” heading into free agency, but that range I suppose seems fair for comp purposes. Each of Báez and Story had some downswing question marks heading into free agency, though they each also had some pretty darn high heights before that.

We already know the big question on Swanson, which is kind of the reverse of the other two: how much do you buy the defensive metric explosion in 2022, and the high-BABIP production at the plate? If each is more blip than repeatable, you might wind up paying top dollar for a solid defensive shortstop with a league-average bat. Not a bad guy to have, mind you – he was exactly that guy in 2021, and that was worth 3.4 WAR – but not necessarily the guy you want to sign in this particular shortstop class.

Swanson’s career, via FanGraphs:

I’ve talked at length about Swanson before, and how there are versions of an offseason where I’m good with the Cubs landing him. In the abstract, he’s a good player to have on your team. And he’s 28. There are things to like. It’s just that, while Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, and Xander Bogaerts are all still out there, it’s a little hard to get JAZZED about the Cubs specifically landing Swanson.

Note that Swanson is not the only shortstop discussed in Heyman’s piece. For Correa, it’s Twins and then Giants as the favorites. For Turner, it’s Phillies and then Dodgers. For Bogaerts, it’s Red Sox and then Phillies (but the Cubs are mentioned as among the interested teams).

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.