The Atlanta Braves have a few areas of uncertainty going into the 2022 offseason. However, one thing that was always going to happen: the Braves were always going to extend the qualifying offer to Dansby Swanson and he was almost a lock to reject it to test his free agent market.
We were on the verge of ridding ourselves of the qualifying offer system altogether. During the most recent CBA negotiations, the two sides added an element to the deal that if they were able to come to terms on an international draft by the end of July, the qualifying offer system would be scrapped. Unfortunately, MLBPA and MLB could not get a framework in place and so the qualifying offer system remains for another season.
The qualifying offer amount continues to rise and will be worth $19.65 million this go-around. Today, the Braves did the inevitable by extending that one year offer to Dansby Swanson.
The Braves giving Dansby Swanson the qualifying offer was inevitable
Again, this is hardly a surprise. Since the two sides failed to come to an agreement on an extension before now, the Braves were always going to extend the QO to Dansby to protect themselves in the event that he were to leave. As a team that does not receive revenue sharing money not did not exceed the luxury tax, the Braves would be entitled to a draft pick after the second round if he were to sign elsewhere now.
Dansby overcame a rocky start to his career with the Braves to become one of the better shortstops in all of baseball. His 6.4 fWAR in 2022 placed him 8th in the entire National League amongst position players while slashing .277/.329/.447 with 25 homers and 18 stolen bases. His 116 wRC+ was 7th in amongst all qualified shortstops across baseball. Dansby is also is a premium defender at the position and he was recognized as such with his first Gold Glove recently.
Extending the qualifying offer to Dansby does not mean that he is not coming back to the Braves. The two sides had interest in a deal at the end of the season and nothing has changed in that regard. It is all still going to come down to dollars and years and unfortunately, Dansby now gets to test the market and see what’s out there.