There hasn’t been more unwarranted hate for a player in recent memory than Braves Country bashing Dansby Swanson. Despite the volatile inconsistencies, the former No. 1 overall pick has certainly earned a contract extension. SportsTalkATL writers have long voiced opinions over the subject, and Chase has spearheaded the push to extend Swanson.
At this point, Swanson ranks 11th among all players in fWAR and is the third-ranked shortstop behind Tommy Edman and Xander Bogaerts. Outside of a cold streak to begin the season, Swanson is slashing .335/.401/.535 with a .936 OPS, nine homers, and nine stolen bases over his last 50 games. Moreover, the Braves shortstop plays elite defense at one of the most critical positions on the diamond.
The free-agent market could be quite robust if Bogaerts and Carlos Correa opt out of their respective contracts. Trea Turner, Swanson, Correa, and Bogaerts are four of the best shortstops in baseball, and signing any of them won’t be cheap. Coming into the season, SportsTalkATL predicted a Swanson extension looking something like six years for $80-100 million, but if he continues to play like this, the deal will start at $100 million. If he tests the free-agent market, it shouldn’t shock fans if he garners closer to $200 million.
Elite shortstops are hard to come by. Swanson has dealt with concerning inconsistencies since entering the league, but if this season is any indication of what is to come, he’ll be one of the best shortstops in the game as he enters his prime years. Again, that kind of player doesn’t come cheap, but Bleacher Report thinks Swanson will only command $108 million over six years.
Contract Prediction: Six years, $108 million
There might not be player in the 2022-23 free-agent class with a greater variance between his minimum and maximum earning power than Dansby Swanson.
Assuming Xander Bogaerts and Carlos Correa both opt out of their contracts to join Trea Turner in free agency, he’ll be the fourth-best shortstop on the market. That said, he’s still a proven everyday player at a premium position.
The 28-year-old got off to a slow start this year, but he’s hitting .327/.387/.526 in 173 plate appearances since the beginning of May, and his 2.5 WAR through 63 games has already eclipsed the 1.9 WAR he posted all of last season.
The six-year, $75 million extension Brandon Crawford signed with the San Francisco Giants back in 2015 is a good starting point in negotiations, and a $100 million payday is within reach if he keeps hitting.
If that deal were on the table, it would be a no-brainer. However, much of his value rides on how he finishes the season. If he goes through another slump at the plate, that deal seems likely; however, if he continues to light pitchers up, Swanson might command even more.