Dansby Swanson setting the tone at Chicago Cubs Spring Training
The tone at the Major League level for the Chicago Cubs changed when the team signed free-agent shortstop Dansby Swanson to a 7-year deal worth $177MM last December, The signing of Swanson gave the Cubs a new face of the franchise for the Major League team and a leader moving forward as the club expects to return to contention.
Position players arrived at Cubs' Spring Training on Monday but Swanson reported early as he was at the team's Spring Training facility last week when pitchers and catchers reported. Swanson has wasted no time in accepting his leadership role with the Cubs and that was a sentiment he shared while speaking with Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times.
"‘‘That means playing, and it means playing every day,’’ he said. ‘‘I never want to make anything about Atlanta because I’m not there — I’m in Chicago, I’m a Cub — but the one thing that was the expectation there was that you play every day, plain and simple" "- Dansby Swanson via Chicago Sun-Times
Swanson appeared in all 162 games with the Atlanta Braves last season and appeared in 160 games the season prior. When Swanson was introduced by the Cubs last season, he stressed the importance of availability. As Swanson echoed in his comments to Greenberg, being available creates a trickle-down effect for the rest of the team.
"‘‘If we want to win, the best players have to play. In order for the best players to play, you have to take care of yourself. In order to take care of yourself, you’ve got to care and care about your teammates. That same mentality is now going to be brought here. It has to.’’"- Dansby Swanson via Chicago Sun-Times
Having a player like Swanson as the leader at the Major League level will be an important part of the Cubs' future. In the coming seasons, the top prospects of the Cubs' organization--Brennen Davis, Pete Crow-Armstrong, Kevin Alcantara, and Matt Mervis--will be reaching the Major League level. Swanson and his lead-by-example approach will provide a solid blueprint for the team's top prospects to follow as they get acclimated to the Major League lifestyle.