Earlier in the week, MLB Trade Rumors experts got together and set their predictions for the top 50 free agents available this winter and there was heavy Chicago Cubs' involvement. In total, 9 different players were predicted to sign with the Cubs, which goes to show that most in the industry do believe the team will be having an aggressive approach this offseason. So far, all the Cubs have done is swap minor leaguers with the Tampa Bay Rays, but in mid-November, the winter is far from over. Let's just dive right in and take a look at those players certain experts have going to the Cubs
1. Dansby Swanson (predicted by Steve Adams, Tim Dierkes and Anthony Franco of MLBTR)
Not a huge surprise here to see a shortstop linked to the Cubs. However, this is the only one of the four top shortstops that are on the free agent list that the MLB Trade Rumors Experts have signing with the Cubs. As many know, Swanson has been a mainstay with the Atlanta Braves for the duration of this seven-year career. Numbers-wise, Swanson slashes a career .255/.321/.417, but in the last four seasons, has averaged a mark of .261/.325/.444 with 25 homers and 90 RBIs per 162 games played. With elite defense, Swanson won the Gold Glove award in 2022, and, coming off his most productive year at the plate with 25 HR and 96 RBIs, Swanson is in line for a major payday this offseason.
The Braves have stated that Swanson is their priority but did fail in contract negotiation talks during the season. The belief is that it's pretty much Swanson or bust for them as far as the key shortstops go. The Braves have quite a bit more of a payroll crunch on their hands and, if the Cubs wanted to, they could easily outbid the Braves for Swanson. He is projected for 6-7 years in contract length depending on who you ask with an AAV surpassing 20.0M. This mark seems to be right in the Cubs' wheelhouse. It's not expected that the top-tier free agents sign immediately, but this is a name you'll want to keep an eye on.