Braves: Will Dansby Swanson’s next contract eclipse $200M+?

Alex Anthopoulos Dansby Swanson

I’ve spoken on this topic profusely, but a response to one of my tweets yesterday is forcing me to talk about it again.

My tweet came following Swanson’s monster shot to break a 2-2 tie against the Athletics yesterday, and there were a few comments like this.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Dansby Swanson is getting much more than $90 million on the open market. If he hits unrestricted free agency and his goal is to get the most money possible, he will very easily eclipse $150 million, and I think it’s fair to wonder if he will reach the $200 million threshold.

Let’s start by discussing what Dansby Swanson has become. An argument could be made he was the best shortstop in all of baseball during the COVID-shortened 2020 season. He led the league in bWAR. Swanson was among the best players at his position again in 2021, smacking a career-high 27 homers, and he very well might be the best shortstop in baseball this season. He trails only Xander Bogaerts in fWAR, who is also set to test free agency this offseason.

There is no question about it — Dansby Swanson is an elite player at his position. He’s proven it over the last three years, and several other teams will be willing to pay him like it, especially given his intangibles. Swanson is a natural-born leader with an incredible desire to win. He shows up to the ballpark every day with the same attitude and does everything he possibly can to help his team reach the ultimate goal, rarely missing a game in the process. There will be no shortage of suitors, and the bidding war is likely to get out of hand.

Swanson likely won’t be paid like some of the top shortstops have recently, namely Francisco Lindor and Corey Seager.

Francisco Lindor contract: $10 years, $341 million

Corey Seager contract: 10 years, $325 million

However, he doesn’t need to be paid like Lindor and Seager to eclipse the $200 million threshold. He will likely also benefit from being in a market with Carlos Correa, Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts, who will likely be commanding lucrative contracts worth well over $300 million.

Unless Swanson chooses to take a hometown discount to stay in Atlanta, I would be surprised if he didn’t sign for more money than Freddie Freeman did last offseason ($162 million). Braves fans need to wrap their heads around the fact that Dansby Swanson is an elite player in his prime at a premium position that will be coveted by nearly every team in the league. Someone will pay him like the All-Star that he is, and if it’s not the Braves, these will be the final two months we get to watch Swanson don a tomahawk across his chest.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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