The Braves have managed to lock up their core for the foreseeable future over the last few years, and now all eyes are on Dansby Swanson, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
It’s pretty clear both sides want a deal done. Atlanta is Swanson’s home; it’s been his home for all 28 years of his life. Swanson is a pillar of the franchise, the longest-tenured member of the Braves, an incredible winner, and having an unbelievable season as Atlanta attempts to chase down the New York Mets in the NL East. Sound familiar?
The easiest way I can say it is, from the conversations we’ve had, they want me here and this is my home — I want to be here,” Swanson said. “One would think (that would lead to a deal), right? But we’ve seen crazy things happen before. I’ve really gotten to a point of just surrendering that over. This is my home. But wherever the good Lord is going to put me is where I’m supposed to be. I’ve come to terms with that.
It’s the last thing I want to imagine — if you’ve been following the site for a while, you know I am a leader of the Dansby Swanson fan club — but there is a very possible scenario in which the Braves shortstop signs elsewhere this offseason. The fact that a deal hasn’t been completed yet is discouraging, and if he starts getting courted by the entire league this winter, the bidding will likely get out of hand, and the Braves will once again have to let another one of their franchise cornerstones walk for nothing.
In that matter, the situation is very similar to Freddie Freeman‘s; however, I think there are many more contributing factors that could force Swanson to sign elsewhere than there were with Freeman last year.
Swanson is having a career year, so there could be a disconnect in the numbers between him and the Braves. Meanwhile, Alex Anthopoulos and company were well aware of what Freeman was going to provide. There’s also the issue with Swanson’s agency, which also represented Freeman. It’s clear Excel Sports and the Braves aren’t on good terms, which could affect negotiations. And finally, Vaughn Grissom has emerged and provided Anthopoulos with a potential backup plan if Swanson decides to walk. I still think the Braves would ideally like to keep both, but it gives AA more power at the bargaining table. He won’t be forced into handing Swanson more money than he believes he deserves.
Once again, it really is going to come down to how much Swanson values being in Atlanta. The Braves are going to make him a more than fair offer. Will he be able to find more money elsewhere in unrestricted free agency? Absolutely, but if being a Brave is important to him, I believe he will be staying home for the remainder of his career.
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