Dansby Swanson in an Oct. 12 game. Oct 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (7) fields the ball and throws out Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos (8) at first base in the seventh inning during game two of the NLDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday saw the Chicago Cubs take their biggest swing of this MLB offseason so far. As Russell Dorsey of Stadium and Bally Sports reported, the team was finalizing a seven-year, $177 million contract with 28-year-old free agent shortstop Dansby Swanson, who had played for the Atlanta Braves from 2016-22. Here’s Dorsey’s report on that:

It’s been quite the offseason for shortstop deals so far. In particular, the Philadelphia Phillies signed Trea Turner to an 11-year, $300 million agreement, the San Diego Padres signed Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million contract, and the San Francisco Giants signed Carlos Correa to a 13-year, $350 million deal. Those three players were the only ones ranked ahead of Swanson (seen above in an Oct. 12 NLDS game against the Phillies) in one particular set of free agent shortstop rankings from NBC Sports Boston’s Justin Leger, and that sounds about right. So yet another top shortstop option is now off the board.

This year, Swanson hit .277/.329/.447 and was worth 6.4 wins above replacement (WAR) by Fangraphs’ system, 5.7 by Baseball Reference’s. Those were his highest WAR numbers of any season: Baseball Reference had him at 2.8 in 2020, 2.2 in 2018, 1.9 in 2021, and 1.1 in 2019, while Fangraphs had him at 3.4 in 2021, 2.3 in 2020, 2.0 in 2019, and 1.4 in 2018. So a lot of the bet here is on if Swanson can maintain his 2022 productivity, and if that turns out to be an outlier, this may seem less worth it. But the Cubs have certainly upgraded their infield with this move, and grabbed one of the best remaining shortstops on the market.

[Russell Dorsey on Twitter; photo from Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.