The Hot Stove hasn’t been scorching like in offseasons past, but the Braves are still making the rounds. Rumors mostly surround the club’s hole at shortstop and free agent Dansby Swanson. After all, the Braves have most of the roster locked up, the lineup is essentially solidified, and there is minimal work to do this offseason. However, the void Swanson is leaving is a massive one to fill, and reports confirm the former No. 1 overall pick will have plenty of suitors this offseason, as Jon Morosi revealed earlier in the month the Cubs have been in touch with Swanson.
Sources: #Cubs among most active teams in the shortstop market during early days of free agency. They’ve been in touch with the agents for Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 12, 2022
This isn’t some sweeping report. Chicago has made contact with every marquee free agent shortstop and has been rumored to be extremely high on Carlos Correa. With a hole at catcher as well, the Cubs have two big holes to fill, and the club seems focused on swinging big this offseason, despite being amid a rebuild.
Dansby Swanson is a hot commodity. Atlanta will not outbid some of these other big market teams — Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. — for Swanson’s services. So, there is a real possibility the Braves will go into next season without him in the lineup. If that is the case, there are still options for Alex Anthopoulos. He could turn to the trade market to fill the void, similar to what he did with Matt Olson last season. Willy Adames is a fantastic candidate in that scenario, especially considering the logjam of pitchers at the AAA and Major League levels.
Depending on how big of a payroll increase the club is prepared to undergo, signing one of the other Big 4 could also be a reality. Despite rarely giving out lucrative free agent contracts, AA could see someone like Trea Turner as the player worth changing those tendencies.
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