2) Braves offseason decision that will pay off: Letting Dansby Swanson walk
The big free agency decision for the Braves was whether or not to keep Dansby Swanson. They ultimately passed and let him sign a lucrative deal with the Chicago Cubs. This has left them with some less experienced options. Vaughn Grissom appears to be the favorite to play the position in 2023.
The Braves may immediately feel the impact of losing Swanson. He had a great year in 2022. Replacing that production is like asking Jeremy Pena to step in and make Houston Astros fans forget all about Carlos Correa. That’s not to suggest Grissom will win the 2023 World Series MVP. It’s just the best comparison right now as to why you should sometimes go with the kid over the familiar veteran.
Swanson left Atlanta with a lifetime .255/.321/.417 hitter. His contract was massive and would have blown away what his former team typically hands out to its players. There is nothing team-friendly about his contract with the Cubbies.
The Braves will ultimately be thankful they let Swanson go in favor of at least seeing what they have with Grissom. Swanson had a career-year right before hitting free agency. It’s important to not forget the down years.
It was a move the Cubs had to make to transition the franchise to the next phase. For Atlanta, letting him go was equally as intelligent. Sentimentality doesn’t win championships. They can use that money somewhere else.