Best potential suitors for dansby swanson in free agency

With the 2022 season winding down and the Hot Stove ready to burn, we’re taking a closer look at some of the top players available in free agency.
Noun: Dansby Swanson
Site: shortstop
Previous team: Atlanta Braves
Age (as of opening day 2023): 29
Statistics for 2022: .277/.329/.447, 25 HR, 96 RBI, 99 R, 18 SB
The No. 1 overall pick by a D-linebacker in the 2015 MLB Draft, Swanson was a bit of a slacker until ’20, when he enjoyed a breakout season with the Braves.
Swanson hit 10 homers with 35 RBIs and an . 809 OPS while playing every game in a pandemic-shortened 60-game campaign. He then followed that up by hitting 27 homers and 88 RBIs in 160 games in 2021. He hit a pair of home runs in the World Series that year, helping Atlanta reach their first championship since 1995.
The 28-year-old proved his debut was no fluke in 2022, hitting 25 home runs with 96 RBIs and a . 776 OPS while playing all 162 games and earning his first All-Star appearance.
Swanson’s past three seasons have propelled him to the top spot in this year’s free agent class, which includes three other star shortstops: Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, and Xander Bogaerts.
Many expect Swanson, a native of Georgia, to stay with the Braves. But there will be no shortage of interest in him this off-season.
With Matt Olson, Ozzie Alpes, and Austin Riley all locked in multi-year deals, Swanson is the only missing piece to keep the Atlanta fold together in the second half of the decade. Swanson clearly loves to hit at Truist Park—he slashed .304/.362/.492 at home compared to .251/.298/.405 on the road this past season—and the Braves core should keep the club competitive year on year. Will Atlanta use some of the money it saved on its team-friendly deals to bring Swanson back?
Turner is also a free agent, though he expects to get a much larger contract than Swanson. If the Dodgers spring in Aaron Judge or any of the free agent’s top rookie pitchers, Swanson could be a low-cost replacement for Turner, if hardly an inexpensive one.
The Phillies are likely going after one of the four biggest shortstops this winter, though Turner and Bogart are apparently higher on their wish list. If they miss both options, the Phils could turn to Swanson, who did well against Philadelphia (. 815 OPS) in 19 games this past season.
red socks
It’s natural to assume that any team facing losing their own shortstop will be in the market for a replacement, and if Bogaerts leaves Boston, the Red Sox could see Swanson as a younger replacement. Boston’s No. 1 prospect (and seventh overall in baseball, in the MLB Pipeline) is shortstop Marcelo Mayer, who turns 20 in December. He is not expected to hit the Majors until at least 2024, so the Red Sox could look for a temporary hiatus in the short term if they believe that schedule.
Miami has received below average production from its shortstops in 2022, with Miguel Rojas (. 605 OPS) getting the vast majority of the playing time. Rojas has one year and $5 million left on his contract, but Swanson would mark a huge upgrade as the Marlins look to compete in the National League Deep East.
The Giants will be linked to nearly every notable free agent this offseason, as San Francisco is expected to spend aggressively. Brandon Crawford has one year left on his deal, so bringing in a new short-term contract for a long-term deal wouldn’t be surprising.
Dansby is an All-Star-caliber occasional player who is arguably the best fullback in this free agent deep class. He’s been fortunate to have an offensive career year and put up above-average power-up numbers for a second straight campaign in his platform year. He uses the field. He’s got plenty of range, hands, feet and arm strength.Teams will suitably appreciate a defender, a skill that will have to age well. However, he’ll also be a buyer’s beware in less offensive home environments. Swanson is a winner with a well above average make-up that will be a boon to any team that can get him to free agency.”
Swanson would represent an upgrade for almost any lineup, but the team that signs him must be prepared to watch him swing and miss frequently. Swanson’s strikeout percentage is in the bottom 20 percent in 2022, while Naseem’s strikeout percentage is in the bottom 15 percent of MLB. Swanson’s strike rate has been in the bottom 40 percent of key points every year of his career, and has always been worse than the league average.
Swanson’s three-year output heading into free agency is similar to that of Marcus Simien, who secured a seven-year, $175 million deal from the Rangers last winter. Semien had 85 homers and 217 RBIs in 377 games from 2019-21; Swanson has 62 homers and 219 RBI in 382 games over the past three seasons.
Swanson is heading into his 29-year-old season, while Simien is entering his campaign at 31, giving Swanson a strong case for a minimum seven-year deal.

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