Atlanta Braves fans are hopeful their star free-agent shortstop will return to Atlanta with pockets full of cash. Here are a few reasons you should damper your optimism.
The Atlanta Braves are in the market for a shortstop after they were unable to reach an extension with Dansby Swanson over the course of the final year. He just happened to put up a career year, inflating his value heading into the open market.
The Atlanta Braves reportedly offered Swanson a deal worth roughly $100 million in U.S. currency. That was not enough to bring Swanson back home.
We’ve covered the Swanson situation up and down at Tomahawk Take. Before we proceed with the negativity, I’m going to give you an outlet. If you want to look at the bright side then check out why the Braves Will Re-Sign Dansby Swanson.
Now, back to the pessimism.
As previously discussed, the Braves are not likely to sign big-name, high-dollar free agents to long-term deals under Alex Anthopoulos’ reign. He has not hesitated to buy out arbitration years to get discounts on UFA years as he did with Acuna, Strider, Harris, Olson, and Albies, just to name a few…
However, when it comes to free agents, we’ve seen a series of one-year deals for veteran players to minimize the risk. The strategy has worked very well for the Braves. Did we overpay for Cole Hamels’ one season? Yes. But it was just one season. Josh Donaldson had one magical season in Atlanta but when his price exceeded the value assigned by the front office, the Braves were out.
They pivoted to Marcell Ozuna on another one-year deal. Ozuna threatened to take the triple crown and was a positive influence on the clubhouse. Anthopoulos opened the checkbook for Ozuna and gave him $65 million over four years. That deal has been a disaster so far and could serve as a cautionary tale.
The amount of money Swanson is likely to command will probably exceed anything the Braves are willing to pay to one player. If you’d like to read more about the type of contract Swanson may command, and how Swanson’s value stacks up against other free agent shortstops, and more, check out Why the Braves Won’t Re-Sign Dansby Swanson.
Latest Negative News on Dansby Swanson
David O’Brien of the Athletic was on MLB Network on November 24 to address the Swanson situation. O’Brien noted that his optimism has waned since there still hasn’t been a deal.
"“I went from being probably 70-30, I thought that Dansby would be back even as it dragged on, but then when it reached the Freddie Freeman stage, they let him get to the open market, I became a lot less optimistic,” O’Brien said Wednesday on MLB Network. “I’m probably less than 50-50 now that he’s coming back, because I think if he was they would have done it [already]."
O’Brien went on to note that Dansby’s market is a lot bigger than Freddie’s was. Again, that’s where Anthopoulos is not likely to overpay a player just to outbid other teams. There are a lot of teams looking for a shortstop this winter.
The Dodgers lost Trea Turner to free agency. The Phillies could use an upgrade at SS coming off of a World Series appearance. Swanson has been linked to the Cubs. The Cardinals have two MVP candidates on their roster and are in desperate need of a shortstop. The Red Sox have lost Bogaerts to free agency and will be shortstop shopping this winter.
The odds of bringing Dansby back home continue to dwindle.
What do you think? Should we remain positive or prepare for a future without Swanson? Do you think the Braves can sufficiently replace Swanson next year? Will Swanson sign a big contract and be a bust for another team? Let us know in the comments!