MLB free agency is underway, and we have seen some big deals go down. While the major players like Aaron Judge and Jacob deGrom have signed, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t more money on the table for other big market players. We saw shortstop Xander Bogaerts sign a massive 11-year, $280 million deal with the San Diego Padres. Fellow shortstop Dansby Swanson may not get that kind of payday, but he is expected to sign soon in free agency. The San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox are among the teams with interest.
Even though he started the 2022 season slow, Swanson finished with the best batting average on the Atlanta Braves. He played in every game during the regular season and hit .277 with 32 doubles, 25 home runs and 96 RBI. He also led the team in total hits with 177, which ranked tied for the eighth-mot by a player in the league. Swanson had a 5.7 WAR and will likely automatically improve whatever team he signs with.
The Giants were reported as being linked to the shortstop on Tuesday. Their current shortstop is veteran Brandon Crawford who is under center for one more year before becoming an unrestricted free agent. Crawford could move to second or play third base if the team does decide to sign Swanson.
The Cubs have an interesting angle on the former No. 1 overall draft pick. Swanson’s wife, Mallory Pugh, plays for the Chicago Red Stars. While this aspect of his life isn’t likely to be the sole reason he would sign with Chicago, it deserves to be mentioned. The Cubs have recently gone full rebuild after finally breaking their World Series rut. Nico Hoerner projects as the team’s starting shortstop, but he and Nick Madrigal can be moved around the infield to pave way for Swanson.
The Twins, Red Sox, Dodgers and Atlanta Braves all remain in the hunt for Swanson. Minnesota had Carlos Correa inked to a three-year deal but included opt-outs after each season which Correa wasted little time in taking advantage of. The team is still linked to his camp, but the bottom line is that they need someone to play shortstop. A Twins left side of the infield with Swanson and Gio Urshela would give them a boost in the AL Central.
The Red Sox saw Bogaerts head west to the Padres. This leaves a gaping hole on the left side of their infield. They saw Aaron Judge return to New York and need a boost to hang in a tough AL East. Swanson wouldn’t be able to bring a divisional title by himself, but he is at least a step in the right direction. The Dodgers lost Trae Turner to free agency and could be looking to snipe another Atlanta free agent. Swanson has posted on social media recently about missing former teammate Freddie Freeman, and he could follow the same path and also head to the west coast. Lastly, Atlanta wants to keep their shortstop. The team and Swanson’s camp remain separated on years and total salary, but there is certainly an incentive to get a deal done. The Braves don’t have many prospects left, so a trade for another shortstop isn’t likely. There is an incentive to bring Swanson back if the two sides can get on the same page.