Cubs fans will hate this latest Cardinals free agency rumor

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

This winter's loaded free agent crop of shortstops is in limbo as both the Giants and Yankees await a decision from AL MVP Aaron Judge. But that doesn't mean the rumors aren't still swirling and the latest from Jon Morosi will set Cubs fans' teeth on edge.

It seems like major moves tend to break in the Cardinals' favor lately. I mean, after all, they got the Rockies to pay them to take Nolan Arenado off their hands and then they followed it up by adding Paul Goldschmidt. To make matters worse, Arenado chose not to opt out of his deal at the end of the 2022 season, meaning he'll be a thorn in the Cubs' side through at least 2027.

Cubs Rumors: Cardinals active in free agent shortstop market

2023 marks a changing of the guard, of sorts, in St. Louis with Albert Pujojs and Yadier Molina riding off into the sunset this fall. Next year marks Adam Wainwright's final go-round, as well, so it stands to reason Jon Mozeliak is looking to the next generation for the Cardinals - and adding a star shortstop to slot in alongside Arenado and Goldschmidt, this year's National League MVP.

Dansby Swanson seems like a perfect fit for St. Louis, doesn't he? If that forced Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins to step outside of their comfort zone and pony up for Trea Turner, Carlos Correa or Xander Bogaerts, I'd be all for that chain of events playing out in the weeks and months to come. But, at the end of the day, you'd still be talking about a major addition for a team that looks like an early favorite once again in 2023 in a weak NL Central.

Swanson is coming off a career-best year in which he posted 5.7 bWAR and slashed .277/.329/.447 with 32 doubles and 25 home runs for the Braves. Not only did he get the job done at the dish, he also brought home the first Gold Glove of his career.

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As if the Willson Contreras rumors weren't enough, the thought of the Cardinals potentially adding Contreras and one of the four free agent shortstops is just a punch to the gut. Here's to hoping the Cubs capitalize, think bold and do enough that - regardless of what St. Louis does this winter - it won't matter when the dust settles next fall.