Cubs Rumors: It's Dansby Swanson or bust for the Braves at shortstop

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

The Cubs are among the most active teams when it comes to the free agent shortstop market and, with multiple reports connecting Chicago to Dansby Swanson, the latest report from Ken Rosenthal is certainly worth pondering.

According to Rosenthal over at The Athletic (subcription required), the Atlanta Braves are still looking to bring back their longtime shortstop but, if they fail to do so, they're likely out on Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Trea Turner - which could obviously have an impact on Chicago's offseason pursuits.

Not re-signing Swanson doesn't mean the Braves won't make a big splash this offseason, though, even if they don't go after one of those other star shortstops. There are all kinds of rumors speculating over the possibility of Atlanta stealing Jacob deGrom from the division rival Mets - and such a move would require quite the financial commitment.

Cubs have a lengthy free agent wish list and dollars to spend

As for the Cubs, there's nothing to stop them from dropping a cool quarter-million or more on Correa or Turner, but all signs point to Jed Hoyer prefering someone like Swanson who will come at a fraction of the cost. A Swanson addition would eat up a smaller portion of the team's payroll long-term, potentially permitting more impact moves in years to come (Shohei Ohtani next offseason, anyone?)

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With holes at first base, in the rotation and in center field, money is going to be spent by the Cubs - period. The Braves have excelled in recent years at locking up young players to cost-controlled, long-term deals so they've got the flexibility to lock up Swanson without handicapping themselves moving forward. But if someone else swoops in and snatches the former Vanderbilt standout, it takes the Braves out of the running in the shortstop market, potentially elevating the Cubs' chances at landing one of them (again, assuming the team that pries Swanson away isn't Chicago).

There's been plenty of smoke around the Cubs and Swanson - but don't rule out the return to Atlanta this winter. The Braves have history with him, he's in their price range and they love what they know.