One Anonymous Exec Really Liked the Dansby Swanson Signing for the Cubs
If you ask around the league about free agency, and which deals represented a really good value, you’re not going to get a whole lot of agreement. If everyone agreed that Deal X was a total bargain, then Deal X wouldn’t have been available in the first place, because several teams would’ve gladly topped it!
So I wasn’t surprised to see a lack of consensus in this MLB.com piece surveying anonymous execs about free agency, and the best deals out there:
Out of loads of responses, only a handful of deals were mentioned even twice: Carlos Correa (the third deal), Zach Eflin, Aaron Judge, Brandon Belt, and Carlos Rodon. Correa being a relative bargain is because of the unique circumstances of his ankle situation, and I don’t think anyone actually knows whether that’ll wind up a good deal or a disaster. Judge and Rodon getting massive deals from the Yankees and being pegged as “value” signings is certainly interesting. Belt as a bounce-back guy on a one-year, $9.3 million deal does make sense to me. And Eflin, who signed with the Rays for three years and $40 million, is definitely a great choice, because the market got a little crazy after he signed (and he’s just 28).
Otherwise, the responses were just a long stream of 13 other free agent signings that some executive thought was a good deal. Again, you wouldn’t expect a lot of agreement here.
The only Cubs signing that made the list was the Dansby Swanson deal, at seven years and $177 million:
Swanson also received a sizeable deal, signing with the Cubs for $177 million over seven years. But compared to the deals given to Turner (11 years, $300 million), the Padres’ Xander Bogaerts (11 years, $280 million) and Correa, Swanson’s contract seemed like a steal to one executive.
“If you’re talking about pure value as relates to the market, I might lean toward Swanson,” an NL exec said. “I still think it’s a ton of money per year for a middle-of-the-diamond guy, but given what the rest of the shortstop market earned, it might end up being the best value of the group when all is said and done.”
If you’re the Cubs, you are – I would hope – looking more for impact than value, but if Swanson could provide both, then you would like to see the Cubs using the value savings in future free agent/trade classes.
Also, yes, it’s funny to imagine that the anonymous NL exec there is Jed Hoyer or Carter Hawkins. I’m sure it’s not. But it’s still funny.