Regrading Dansby Swanson’s contract as he returns to Atlanta for first time

The Chicago Cubs shortstop returns to Atlanta after bolting the Braves in free agency, so let's look at the value the Cubs received from him this season.

Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson
Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

There will be plenty of emotions on display Tuesday night in Atlanta when Dansby Swanson returns to Truist Park as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

It will be the first return for Swanson to Atlanta since leaving the Braves in the offseason to sign a seven-year, $177 million deal with the Cubs. While there were questions about if Swanson would live up to the contract after putting up big numbers in his final season with the Braves, the 29-year-old shortstop has indeed earned his money in his initial year in the Windy City.

Regrading Dansby Swanson’s contract with the Chicago Cubs

Heading into Tuesday's opener in Atlanta, Swanson is slashing .250/.330/.427 with 22 homers and 80 RBI in 616 plate appearances in his first season with the Cubs. While the batting average is down compared to his seven-year average in Atlanta (.255/.321/.417 slash line), the on-base and slugging numbers with the Cubs are slightly higher. He is also very near his 162-game average, where his slash line is .254/.322/.418 and he's hitting 21 home runs with 82 RBI.

Looking at those numbers, it can be argued that Swanson has produced exactly what the Cubs expected him to produce this season.

Defensively, Swanson is in line to earn the National League Gold Glove at shortstop, with his 18 Outs Above Average leading all MLB shortstops. If he earns the award, it would be his second straight year to take home the hardware.

What can't be taken into statistics, however, is what Swanson has meant to a Cubs team that was given an 11.2 percent chance to make the postseason by FanGraphs before the season began. Swanson's play has been a big reason why the Cubs are in the middle of a postseason chase and control their only fate with just six games left in the season.

For all of those who doubted the move by the Cubs and Swanson to join forces for seven years, this season has been a success in the Windy City. On our regrade, let's give this move an A (as in Atlanta). But let's also remember that parting ways with the Braves hasn't slowed them down either as they are on their way to earning the top seed on the National League side of the bracket.

A contract signing that seems to have been good for both teams? One year in, that's what it looks like for Dansby Swanson as well as the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves.