Did Swanson price himself out of Atlanta?

November 24th, 2022

is a free agent for the first time in his career, and MLB.com is tracking the latest rumors surrounding the shortstop.

Read all about Swanson here.

Nov. 24: Did Swanson price himself out of Atlanta?
The Braves are interested in re-signing Swanson, but The Athletic’s David O’Brien doesn’t feel great about their chances. 

“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].

“I think they’re going to wait to see what the market [is], if he comes back to where they’re comfortable paying him, but I don’t think Dansby’s going to. I think his market’s a lot bigger than Freddie’s was …. He probably priced himself out of Atlanta with the season he had.”

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Braves offered Swanson around $100 million. The shortstop reportedly made a counter offer, but negotiations between the two sides don't appear to have gone much further than that. MLB Trade Rumors recently predicted a seven-year, $154 million deal for Swanson.

Unlike last offseason, when the Braves swung a trade with the A’s to land Matt Olson as Freeman’s replacement at first base, O’Brien thinks Atlanta is likely to go with internal options to replace Swanson rather than looking at one of the other star shortstops on the free-agent market.

“I think they’re comfortable enough that they’ll go with [Vaughn Grissom] and Orlando Arcia [at shortstop],” O’Brien said. “I probably think they’re going to make a move elsewhere. People I think overestimated how much money the Braves would spend this offseason …. I don’t think they’re going to spend a whole lot of money.”

Nov. 22: Cardinals a possibility for Swanson 
The Cardinals could be an under-the-radar landing spot for Swanson, according to The Athletic's Braves reporter, David O'Brien. 

O'Brien thinks St. Louis makes a lot of sense for the longtime Atlanta shortstop if Swanson doesn't return to the Braves.

The Cardinals do currently have multiple options at shortstop, including Tommy Edman and third-place NL Rookie of the Year finisher Brendan Donovan, but signing Swanson would allow the versatile Edman and Donovan to play all over the diamond for St. Louis.

Nov. 18: Could Braves let Swanson walk?
A year ago, coming off their World Series title, the Braves let homegrown star Freddie Freeman leave for the Dodgers in free agency. Could something similar play out with Swanson this winter?

Writing in the New York Post, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman says that "one Braves person expressed pessimism" that the two sides will come to an agreement after Atlanta offered about $100 million and Swanson's camp came back with an unspecified counter-offer.

While there is still plenty of time for things to change, it's worth wondering where the Braves will turn if Swanson leaves. Heyman notes that the club likes fellow free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa. However, 2022 rookie Vaughn Grissom reportedly has the backing of highly respected infield instructor Ron Washington. That could make him the top in-house contender, although the Braves also have veteran Orlando Arcia as insurance.

Nov. 10: How much will it take to sign Swanson?
During the season, the Braves reportedly made an offer to Swanson around $100 million. That figure didn't get the job done, and MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Thursday that $140 million for Swanson was a "common guess" heard during this week's General Managers Meetings.

That number matches the value of the contracts signed by shortstops Javier Báez and Trevor Story prior to the 2022 season; they inked six-year pacts with the Tigers and Red Sox, respectively. Both players signed those deals as they entered their age-29 season, which Swanson will in 2023.

Although Swanson doesn't possess as much raw power as Báez or Story, he is coming off a season in which he recorded a career-best 115 OPS+ and led all shortstops with 21 outs above average. He also has a lower strikeout rate than both players.

Atlanta will continue its attempts to bring back the Georgia native, but Heyman wrote that the Dodgers "surely will be in on" Swanson as well.

Nov. 10: Could Swanson replace Turner in LA?
When the Dodgers lost Corey Seager to the Rangers in free agency last offseason, they were able to replace him with another All-Star in Trea Turner. But with Turner now a free agent, Los Angeles doesn’t have that same luxury this time, which means the club may need to look outside the organization for a replacement if Turner departs.

Swanson could be the Dodgers’ best option, writes MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for the New York Post. More >

Nov. 4: What was the Braves’ opening offer to Swanson?
The Braves have proven adept at getting their core players under contract long before they were scheduled to reach free agency. They did it with Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson, Austin Riley, Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider. 

However, a new deal with Swanson has eluded Atlanta to this point, and now the shortstop is set to become a free agent in a matter of days.

The Braves did try with Swanson during the 2022 season, but MLB Network insider Jon Heyman hears their opening offer was in the $100 million range.

One early estimate, coming from an outside expert Heyman consulted for his New York Post story on Thursday, pegged Swanson for a seven-year, $175 million deal, which is obviously quite a bit higher than the Braves’ offer.

Swanson may prefer to remain with Atlanta considering he’s from Georgia, but his market will likely be robust. Though there will be no shortage of star shortstops available in free agency, Swanson could be a popular target given his asking price is likely to be lower than that of Trea Turner, Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts.

Heyman placed the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Phillies, Red Sox and Giants on the list of teams he expects to have interest in the 28-year-old Swanson.

Oct. 5: Will Braves bring back Swanson?
In his final season before free agency, Swanson reached the 25-homer mark for the second straight season and set or tied career highs in RBIs (96), runs (99), steals (18), OPS+ (115) and wins above replacement (5.7 bWAR).

Meanwhile, Swanson had another excellent year with the glove, leading all shortstops and ranking second overall among Major Leaguers with 20 outs above average. The 28-year-old is tied for third among shortstops with 29 OAA since the beginning of 2020, behind only Francisco Lindor (42) and Brandon Crawford (31).

Swanson is not as good of a hitter as Trea Turner, Carlos Correa (opt-out) or Xander Bogaerts (opt-out), each of whom could join Swanson on the free-agent market this offseason. But his combination of power, speed and defense will make him an attractive free-agent option, especially if he sets his asking price lower than those other star shortstops do.

The Braves have done a good job getting their core players signed to long-term deals before they’ve reached free agency, extending Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson, Austin Riley, Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported in a story for the New York Post in August that the Braves had opened up extension talks with Swanson, a Georgia native. However, a new deal hasn’t come to fruition yet.

Notably, Swanson’s agent is Casey Close, who formerly represented Freddie Freeman. The longtime Braves first baseman left Atlanta to sign with the Dodgers in March after Freeman and the Braves were unable to reach an agreement on a new deal. Freeman left Excel Sports Management in June.

If Swanson departs, it's not a given that Atlanta will look to bring in another free-agent shortstop to fill the void. The Braves could slot in Vaughn Grissom, the team's 2022 Minor League Player of the Year, to replace Swanson. Grissom hit .291/.353/.440 with five homers and five steals in 41 games for Atlanta this season, seeing most of his time at second base. The Braves' No. 5 prospect, Braden Shewmake, is also a shortstop.