Free-agent shortstop Dansby Swanson, formerly of the Atlanta Braves, is gauging some interest from the team’s rival, the Philadelphia Phillies.
Atlanta will have a gaping hole at shortstop should Dansby Swanson leave, and his contract expectations suggest he could very well be on the way out the door.
Swanson’s free agency is playing out much like Freddie Freeman before him — that is, a homegrown star the Braves don’t want to pay market value. Swanson is soon-to-be 30 years old. Vaughn Grissom, while young, is waiting in the wings.
Grissom is just 21 years old, and has a ways to go defensively to match a player like Swanson. Losing ‘the Sheriff’ would also signal a major locker room shift in Atlanta. Considering the money they’ve saved over the years with team-friendly contracts for Ronald Acuña and Ozzie Albies, can’t they afford to pay up just this once?
If Dansby Swanson were to leave the Braves, where would he go?
Dansby Swanson is just one of the four star shortstops available on the free-agent market right now. Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Trea Turner rival Swanson’s raw athletic ability. However, Swanson’s stable presence in the field gives him an advantage in that department.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs have made contact with Swanson, among others. The Phillies just recently entered the race, while the Cubs, per some MLB insiders, should be considered the favorite to sign Swanson.
Now, Swanson surely isn’t the favored shortstop for the Phillies, as they’re meeting with all four of the aforementioned free-agent targets. Trea Turner is considered the best of the bunch, and Bogaerts has long been a favorite of Dave Dombrowski.
As Jayson Stark notes, Turner would be the top choice for Philadelphia:
"“Turner has often been characterized as the Phillies’ No. 1 choice, and Philadelphia has been widely viewed as the favorite to sign him. But the meetings with Correa, Bogaerts and Swanson indicate the club hasn’t ruled out any of the other members of a stellar free-agent shortstop class.”"
Nonetheless, this has to be uncomfortable for Braves fans.