Chicago Cubs 2023 Season Preview: Shortstop Dansby Swanson

Chicago Cubs Introduce Dansby Swanson
Chicago Cubs Introduce Dansby Swanson / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

As the start of the 2023 Major League Baseball regular season is approaching, we will begin to highlight specific players that are currently projected to be on the Chicago Cubs roster to begin the season and take a look at look at what the season ahead may look like.

As the Cubs enter the 2023 season, there are few players on the Major League roster more important than shortstop Dansby Swanson. Swanson signed a seven-year deal with the Cubs this offseason worth $177 million.

The signing of Swanson signaled that the Cubs were ready to win at the Major League level after spending the past two seasons emphasizing the rebuilding of the team's farm system.

Swanson's addition to the Cubs certainly will give the Cubs a much more respectable product at the Major League level this season but there have been questions regarding how sustainable the offensive success that he has had in the past two seasons will be moving forward.

2023 FanGraphs ZiPS Projections: .259/.323/.417, 23 home runs, 113 wRC+, 5.0 fWAR

Baseball Reference 2023 Projections: .262/.321/.447. 22 home runs, 30 doubles, 81 runs scored

Both projections seem to believe that Swanson will continue to find offensive success and that will be key to ensuring that Swanson's signing with the Cubs was a success. There is no question that Swanson will be an elite defender for the Cubs at the shortstop position but the whole purpose of the Cubs targeting the four free-agent shortstops this offseason was because they all represent an offensive upgrade for the team. Swanson's offensive skillset may not be at the same level as Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, or Carlos Correa but his projections still would be tops on the Cubs' current roster in comparison to 2022 numbers.

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Expect Swanson to become the true leader for the Cubs once the 2023 season starts. Swanson earned the nickname "The Sheriff" while beginning his career with the Atlanta Braves and as the Cubs redefine their success at the Major League level, Swanson will be the face of that change.