Chicago Cubs News: Dansby Swanson update, Michael Conforto, and more

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

Chicago Cubs free-agent shortstop target Dansby Swanson got married over the weekend to Chicago Red Stars' soccer player Mallory Pugh. Pugh and her connections to the city of Chicago have become a popular talking point in regard to Swanson's free agency and the possibility of him signing with the Cubs. Given the marriage, there were minimal updates on Swanson's free-agency status over the weekend but Jon Heyman did have an interesting update on Sunday night.

Much like it was clear with the Cubs and catcher Willson Contreras that the team was not going to bring Contreras once he hit free agency this offseason, that appears to be what has happened with the Braves and Swanson. With the Braves looking less and less likely with each passing day, it seemed almost as if it was a foregone conclusion that Swanson would sign with the Cubs.

The Dodgers' involvement in Swanson's market would be less than ideal. Short of a brief flirtation with the idea of signing free-agent outfielder Aaron Judge, the Dodgers have had a quiet offseason. The team did lose shortstop Trea Turner as Turner signed an 11-year deal worth $300MM with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Dodgers could slide Gavin Lux over to the shortstop position but Swanson's friendship with Freeman should not be overlooked.

If the Cubs do sign Swanson, it will be interesting to see the contract that he signs for. It is becoming more and more apparent that the Cubs are shying away from the 8 to 10-year commitments for free agents. Given the contract that has been given to Turner and free-agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts, there is an expectation now that Swanson could land an 8 or 9-year deal worth $200MM. Perhaps the Cubs try and lure Swanson with a short-term deal in the 4 to 5-year range but inflate the AAV.

Chicago Cubs should not forget about Michael Conforto

Last month, we heard that the Cubs have expressed an interest in free-agent outfielder Michael Conforto. Conforto's name popped up in relation to the Cubs once again on Twitter this weekend.

After missing the 2022 season recovering from shoulder surgery, FanGraphs steamer projections have Conforto with a slash line of .244/.340/.418/.758 while posting a 117 wRC+ in 2023. If Swanson is the shortstop that the Cubs add, there is no question that the team will still need to add multiple impact bats. Conforto would fall under that category.

Sean Manaea signs with the San Francisco Giants

Even after the signing of veteran starting pitcher Jameson Taillon, the Cubs still have a need for a starting pitcher. One potential target is off the board as free-agent starting pitcher Sean Manaea signed with the San Francisco Giants.