Cubs Rumors: Dansby Swanson Finalizing Contract After 7 Seasons with Braves


ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 15:  Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after being treated for being hit in the face by his helmet after sliding safely into second base on a double in the first inning against the New York Mets at Truist Park on August 15, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Dansby Swanson, the last major player on this year’s free-agent market, is leaving the Atlanta Braves.

Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Swanson is finalizing a deal with the Chicago Cubs. Per Bally Sports’ Russell Dorsey, the pact is for seven years and $177 million and carries a full no-trade clause.

Selected No. 1 overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015, Swanson was traded to Atlanta six months after the draft as part of a deal for Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier.

The Braves brought Swanson up to the big leagues late in the 2016 season. His career got off to a slow start with a .240/.314/.380 slash line and 37 homers in 407 games from 2017 to 2019.

Since the start of the 2020 season, Swanson has been one of the best all-around shortstops in MLB.

The Vanderbilt alum was named to the National League All-Star squad for the first time in 2022. He hit .277/.329/.447 with 25 homers, 18 stolen bases and was 11th among all MLB players with 6.4 FanGraphs wins above replacement.

Swanson has been one of the best defensive shortstops in MLB throughout his career. Based on FanGraphs’ defensive value, he ranks fourth among all qualified players at the position (50.7) since 2018 and was rewarded for his efforts with a Gold Glove in 2022.

The 28-year-old picked the right time to have his best season in the big leagues.

Before 2022, Swanson had never had a season in which he was worth more than 3.4 fWAR (2021). He’s also been one of the most durable players in baseball, having missed only two games in the past three seasons.

The Cubs will bet on Swanson continuing to play at an All-Star level for years to come. He did fade down the stretch offensively in 2022 (.245/.288/.412 slash line in 59 games from Aug. 2 to Oct. 5).

It’s a small sample that doesn’t invalidate what he did over the first four months of the season, but it will be interesting to see if he can be a high-ceiling hitter with excellent defense at shortstop.

The Cubs have fallen on hard times since their run of four consecutive playoff appearances, including three straight trips to the NLCS, from 2015 to 2018. They did make the postseason during the COVID-19-pandemic shortened 2020 campaign but have gone 145-179 over the past two seasons.

Ownership quickly gutted the main parts of their 2016 World Series roster and has been reluctant to make many big splashes in free agency lately. The team did make moves last winter, most notably signing Marcus Stroman, but the roster was still a long way from being competitive.

Signing Swanson is the first indication in years that the club appears to be serious about pulling itself out of this recent rough patch. He’s got tremendous talent and will be in his prime for several years to make this deal well worth the investment.

There’s still work for president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer and his staff as they try to catch the St. Louis Cardinals atop the NL Central, but this is a big swing for Chicago.

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