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MLB Insider: What Dansby Swanson’s deal means for Cubs, Braves

What Dansby Swanson’s deal means for Cubs, Braves.

Free-agent shortstop Dansby Swanson and the Chicago Cubs are in agreement on a seven-year, $177 million contract that includes a full no-trade clause and no opt-outs, a source familiar with the deal tells FanSided.

It became increasingly clear throughout the offseason that Swanson, 28, would not return to the Atlanta Braves. Their offer was well short of what the Cubs and others were offering, sources said, and it marks the second consecutive offseason in which Atlanta has lost a franchise cornerstone, with Freddie Freeman departing for the Los Angeles Dodgers last winter.

Let’s break down each side of the deal.

Chicago Cubs

Swanson gives the Cubs the long-term shortstop that they have been looking for in recent seasons. They kicked the tires on Carlos Correa and other shortstops last off-season. But they were in a much better position to spend big on a shortstop this winter — and Swanson was identified as someone the organization wanted.

The interest was mutual. After spending big on Jameson Taillon, and having a young core of players in the majors and minors, the Cubs are in a position to have an extended window of being competitive. Besides, Swanson’s wife, Mallory Pugh, is a soccer star for the Chicago Red Stars and allows the two to be together during their respective seasons.

The fit made too much sense for both sides. For Swanson, he capitalized on a career season in 2022, where he hit .277/.329/.447 with 25 home runs and a 116 wRC+ in 696 plate appearances, and becomes the last of the Big Four shortstops to come off the market.

Swanson, of course, will improve them offensively. But a key to this deal for the Cubs was that with Swanson at shortstop and Nico Hoerner at second base, they will arguably have the best defensive middle infield in baseball.

Atlanta Braves

To replace Swanson, the Braves could make young infielder Vaughn Grissom their everyday shortstop. They also have Orlando Arcia, who was previously the Milwaukee Brewers’ starting shortstop, on the active roster. So they have internal options.

But Alex Anthopoulos, the Braves President of Baseball Operations, is one of baseball’s most aggressive executives. And with Anthopoulos having a good idea most of the offseason that Swanson was likely headed elsewhere, he surely had plenty of time to evaluate external options.

So who might those options be?

The Braves have an interest in the Brewers’ Willy Adames, but he is extremely unlikely to be traded at this time, according to sources. Among other options could include the Tampa Bay Rays’ Taylor Walls, the San Diego Padres’ Ha-Seong Kim (also unlikely to be traded), the Cleveland Guardians’ Amed Rosario, the New York Yankees’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa and the St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul DeJong.

Replacing Swanson, both on the field and in the clubhouse will be an incredibly difficult task for Anthopoulos. He did it last season by acquiring Matt Olson to replace Freeman. But there are no clear-cut options at shortstop, meaning that the Braves’ lead executive has his work cut out for him.

Denise T. Jones

Denise T. Jones is a passionate sports enthusiast with a knack for capturing the electrifying essence of the sporting world. As a dedicated sports news writer for AccessTV.co, Denise brings her unparalleled love for sports and her adept storytelling skills to deliver captivating and insightful content to readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of various sports disciplines, Denise ensures that her articles provide comprehensive coverage of the latest events, matches, and developments in the sports realm. Whether it's the thrill of the game-winning goal, the drama of a nail-biting finish, or the heartwarming stories of triumph against all odds, Denise encapsulates it all with eloquence and precision. Denise's journey in sports journalism has been marked by her unwavering commitment to accuracy, integrity, and excellence. Her ability to blend statistical analysis with compelling narratives sets her apart as a trusted voice in the industry. From the adrenaline-pumping action on the field to the strategic maneuvers off it, Denise brings every aspect of the sporting world to life through her writing. With a finger on the pulse of the sports scene, Denise T. Jones continues to inspire and inform readers with her dynamic and engaging sports coverage on AccessTV.co.

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