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Carlos Correa signed with the Giants. Okay, Cubs: Go get Dansby Swanson

Only one of the four big free agent shortstops is still on the board.

Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images

News item:

My initial reaction to this is:


The Giants are going to regret this deal by the time it’s over. Remember where you heard that. If you’re a Giants fan you might be happy now, but what about when he’s a 38-year-old utility player being paid $27 million to hit .213 with two home runs and no stolen bases?

The AAV is reasonable, but the length of that contract... I wouldn’t have done it from a Cubs standpoint. And if you think about it for a moment, neither would you. How many of you have complained about Jason Heyward’s deal? At the time it was signed it looked like a pretty good contract — and in fact, Heyward turned down bigger offers to sign with the Cubs. Didn’t turn out to be good, did it?

In any case, feel free to spill out whatever angst you want about this in the comments, but I’m turning my attention to Dansby Swanson.

When this offseason began, it seemed very clear that the Cubs had to sign one of the four big free-agent shortstops. There were, and still are, a number of good reasons to do that.

Dansby Swanson, who just got married last Saturday and is honeymooning now, is the only one left on the board. He’s a really good player! He’s had two consecutive very good years and if you look at his 2020 numbers and extrapolate them to a full season, that year was pretty close to his 2021-22 seasons. He’s a Gold Glove shortstop who can hit, and he’ll likely be less expensive to sign than the others.

Win-win, in my view. Go get it done, Jed.

The rest of this article is the one I posted about Swanson as a Cubs free-agent target here on October 27 (with a couple of minor edits). I stand by what I wrote then, and the Cubs should sign him as soon as he’s ready to commit to a ballclub.

Swanson is an Atlanta-area native who has played his entire MLB career there, and not by design, but by luck. He was the first overall pick in the 2015 draft by the Diamondbacks (the draft where the Cubs chose Ian Happ) and was traded to the Braves that December, along with Aaron Blair and Ender Inciarte, for Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier.

Wow. Any time you tell me a Cubs trade is bad, just look at that one, almost certainly the worst in D-Backs history and quite possibly the worst deal of the last decade. It used to be that teams couldn’t trade draft picks for a year after they were selected, but that rule had been rescinded not long before, and Swanson was one of the first draft picks traded as a result.

Swanson just finished the best season of his career, batting .277/.329/.447 (177-for-640) with 32 doubles, 24 home runs and 18 stolen bases. He set career highs in several categories, posted his best bWAR season (5.7) and made the NL All-Star team for the first time.

That’s probably the best-case scenario for anyone hitting free agency. He’s also a good defender — here are a few minutes worth of defensive highlights of Swanson from 2022:

Swanson is basically the same age as Correa (the two were born three months apart in 1994).

So he’s probably in line for a seven-year deal or something along those lines.

This MLB Trade Rumors article examines the Braves payroll, which includes having signed a great number of their young players to long-term deals, and wonders whether they could fit a Swanson contract into their budget. The article looks at whether the Braves could fit both Swanson and another top-tier free agent into their payroll and concludes:

Still, there’s no viable scenario where the Braves could shed enough payroll to be able to re-sign Swanson and make a play for one of the market’s other top free agents without skyrocketing into luxury territory.

So, how valuable do the Braves consider Swanson? This article suggests at least his teammates all would love to see him come back, and you’d think as an Atlanta-area native he’d want to return, but you know how those things sometimes go.

At this CBS Sports article from August, Mike Axisa looks at Swanson in comparison to Correa and other shortstops who signed last year and concludes:

Swanson is having a career year and this offseason figures to be his best chance at a massive long-term deal. He’s unlikely to get Seager money. Swanson’s great but he’s not a $300 million player. It’s more likely his next deal falls in the Báez and Story range, or maybe Semien.

I would concur. Swanson made $10 million in 2022. Would eight years and $210 million do it? That’s fairly close to the AAV that Correa signed for, with fewer years committed, though still equal to the longest contracts in Cubs history — and it would be the most dollars ever committed by the Cubs in a single contract.

What say you?


Carlos Correa signed for 13 years and $350 million with the Giants...

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Too many years
    (505 votes)
  • 1%
    Too many dollars
    (24 votes)
  • 44%
    Both too many years and too many dollars
    (566 votes)
  • 12%
    This is a good deal for the Giants
    (163 votes)
  • 1%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (20 votes)
1278 votes total Vote Now


Dansby Swanson...

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    ... the Cubs should sign him for eight years and $210 million
    (583 votes)
  • 28%
    ... the Cubs should sign him, but it will take more in dollars or years or both
    (313 votes)
  • 14%
    ... the Cubs should not sign him
    (166 votes)
  • 4%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (47 votes)
1109 votes total Vote Now