The Chicago Cubs' offseason plans appear to be centered around their ability to land one of the top four available free-agent shortstops. Those shortstops are Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson. Correa has universally been viewed as the free agent shortstop that makes the most sense for the Cubs but questions remain over whether or not the team will be willing to offer a $300MM contract to the former Minnesota Twins' shortstop. The same caveat can be applied to Turner as the former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop is also expected to receive an offer in the $300MM range.
Given the idea that the Cubs may have restraints on the type of offer they submit to the free agent shortstops, there has been a growing sense the team will settle for either Bogaerts or Swanson this offseason. Bogaerts is expected to receive a contract in the $180MM-$200MM range and that figures to be the sweet spot for the Cubs. Swanson is expected to receive the least of the four free agent shortstops.
Despite perceived limitations on what the Cubs may offer shortstops this offseason, MLB Network Insider Jon Morosi still insists that the team will come away with at least one of the shortstops this offseason.
Morosi's latest hit with MLB Network was heavy on the Swanson connection to the Cubs but he has not shied away from talking about the connection between Correa and the Cubs. In regard to Swanson's connection to the Cubs, as referred to by Morosi, they are loose at best considering sharing the same college as Cubs' general manager Carter Hawkins and Swanson's wife playing for the Chicago Red Stars are not factors that would warrant the Cubs being listed a clear-cut favorite for the Braves free agent.
Dansby Swanson would be an upgrade for the Chicago Cubs but not the true upgrade they need.
Cubs fans have offered pushback on Swanson this offseason and rightfully so as his signing would signal a disappointment considering the opportunity existed to land a true franchise-altering player in Correa. For comparison purposes, FanGraphs projects Swanson to have a 3.2 WAR next season while Correa is projected to be at 5.2.
In an otherwise normal offseason, Swanson would be a very strong free agent signing. The problem is Swanson does not represent the type of upgrade that the Cubs are seeking this offseason. That upgrade comes in the form of Correa and the Cubs must be willing to pay for that difference.