It has been no secret that the Chicago Cubs' offseason plans revolve around the shortstop market as the team has expressed an interest in free agents Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson. The Cubs are in need of significant offensive improvement this offseason and that is where the shortstops begin to be separated in regard to addressing the Cubs' need this offseason. Correa, Turner, and Bogaerts have proven over the course of their career that they are impact bats, meanwhile, Swanson had a career year offensively in 2022 and there have been questions as to how sustainable his offensive success will be moving forward.
Under a regular offseason, there is no question that Swanson would be a significant addition to the Cubs. But in an offseason when Correa, Turner, and Bogaerts are also free agents, coming away with Swanson would undoubtedly be a letdown.
To that end, Major League Baseball insider Jon Heyman of the New York Post offered new predictions on where the top free agents will land and, well, you know where this is leading.
"Dansby Swanson: If rumors are true that the Braves didn’t accede to his $140 million counter — the same deal Trevor Story and Javier Baez got — it’s obvious why some Atlanta people are pessimistic. Still, he is from Georgia. Favorites: 1. Cubs; 2. Braves. "- New York Post
From a financial standpoint, Swanson would fit with the preferred type of contract that the Cubs are looking to offer this offseason. Beyond that, there would be concerns.
Swanson had a slash line of .277/.329/.447/.776 in 696 plate appearances for the Braves last season while posting a 116 wRC+. 2022 also marked the second consecutive season in which Swanson reached the 25+ home run plateau as he had 25 home runs after having 27 home runs in 2021. 2021 and 2022 were the only years in Swanson's career where he surpassed 20 home runs. To further emphasize the anomaly that was Swanson's 2022 season, it was the only season in which his fWAR, 6.4, was higher than 3.5 over the course of his entire career.
For what it's worth, FanGraphs steamer projections have Swanson with a slash line of .247/.309/.413/.723 with 21 home runs and a 3.2 fWAR.
Swanson has always been considered to be an elite defender over the course of his career and that certainly will have a value to a team like the Cubs with multiple pitchers that depend on ground balls for success. That value certainly would be nice for the Cubs as they inch closer to contention but signing Swanson would not represent the franchise-altering signing that Correa or Turner would.