If I’d asked you before reading that headline which team had done the MOST talking to free agent shortstop Dansby Swanson, you would’ve obviously said the Braves, right?
And if I’d asked you before reading that headline which team had done the MOST talking to free agent shortstop Carlos Correa, you would’ve obviously said the Giants, right? Well, at least within the last few days?
Except according to two reports, those guesses would be wrong.
Mark Bowman reports at MLB.com that Swanson and the Braves haven’t had any “legit negotiations” since the offseason STARTED. That was over a month ago.
In fact, at one point, according to Bowman, Swanson was bothered by the silence, so he called Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos to ask what was up. That, uh, doesn’t sound so good!
And, speaking on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, Buster Olney said, “From what I understand, the Giants haven’t gotten too deeply into the Correa conversations yet in terms of dollars.”
But the Giants were supposed to be the team that immediately pivoted, urgently and aggressively, to Correa after they missed out on Aaron Judge four days ago. Why wouldn’t they at least have started talking money? That’s kinda wild to me.
I’ll take grains of salt as necessary here (including the possibility that talks are simply being kept EXTREMELY quiet), but one takeaway from each report is that Swanson back to the Braves and Correa to the Giants are definitely not safe assumptions. Sure, they might be possible or even likely outcomes, but hardly a sure thing. The seeming lack of strong interest … that’s just very weird to me.
I suppose on Swanson, you could chalk it up to an already-significant payroll, and a stud shortstop prospect in Vaughn Grissom ready to go. I’m sure the Braves would like to keep Swanson, but they may wind up sticking to their reported six-year, $100ish million offer, which won’t even come close to what he could command elsewhere.
On Correa, you could chalk it up to the short window of time between Judge’s (and then Brandon Nimmo’s) decision, and the Giants will GET INTO those deeper financial talks with Correa, they just haven’t yet. The Scott Boras negotiating timeline often stretches wellll into the new year, so it’s not as if Correa has to sign on December 9.
All that said, given the lack of positives the last few days on the shortstop front, you would be forgiven for taking these two reports with a hint of optimism for the Cubs.