Why trading for Francisco Lindor is not the answer for Atlanta Braves
Dansby Swanson vs. Francisco Lindor
On offense, the Braves filled the cleanup hole with the very capable, hard-hitting Marcell Ozuna for this season and have two great outfield prospects on the way in Cristian Pache and Drew Waters.
Presumably, Dansby would be a part of the price tag in a package for Lindor. Dansby Swanson could end up being the biggest part of the buyer’s remorse on a deal like this.
Swanson has always had all the talent in the world. Last season, he broke out in a big way during the first half. His final numbers look good despite struggling through injuries for the entire second half. He sure showed up huge in the postseason, though.
To compare, take a look at how Dansby Swanson stacked up to the mighty Francisco Lindor in the first half of 2019.
Dansby Swanson: .270/.330/.493 // 58 R // 19 2B // 3 3B // 17 HR // 57 RBI // 7 SB // sOPS+ 117
Francisco Lindor: .296/.356/.511 // 45 R // 17 2B // 1 3B // 14 HR // 32 // 13 SB // sOPS+ 129
Swanson was having a Lindor-type season in the first half. Remember, at only 26-years-old, the former number one overall draft pick has a ton of room to improve. His first half had Swanson on pace for MVP discussions by year’s end, should he have maintained it.
At the end of the day, Lindor is an amazing talent. We’d be lucky to have him. It’s just hard to imagine a scenario in which Braves’ fans look back fondly on a deal for him considering we have to watch him walk away after next season.
Dansby has the makings of a star shortstop. In 2019, he raised his line-drive rate 5.9 percentage points over 2018’s. He lowered his groundball-rate by 5.3% from 2018 and 10.3% from 2017. Last season – as you may have guessed from seeing that he out-homered and out-doubled Lindor in the first half – Swanson improved his hard-hit percentage from 29.3% (2017) and 35.6% (2018) to 42.5% in ’19.
Dansby is set to earn about $14 million less than Lindor this season. That could be the difference in a big mid-season trade over the next two seasons. Swanson is also under team control for one extra year and we don’t have to lose any prospects to have him as our shortstop.
Dansby has not reached his full potential yet, and I hope he’s in a Braves uniform when he does so.
What say you? Would you give up Swanson and a package of prospects for a year and a half (maybe) of Francisco Lindor? Do you think this is the season Swanson breaks out as a star?