Could the Braves get a Dansby Swanson extension done before the end of the season?

Alex Anthopoulos Dansby Swanson

Just like this past offseason, the Braves could have an incredibly critical decision on their hands regarding one of their best players. Dansby Swanson will be a free agent at season’s end and looking for a massive contract extension. Like Freddie Freeman before him, the Braves will be at a severe risk of losing Swanson if they let him test unrestricted free agency. Atlanta has money to spend, but even though they have it, it doesn’t mean they’ll spend it all in one place, and Swanson will only be more expensive once other bidders are involved. So, could we see the Braves make an aggressive offer before the season ends to lock Swanson up for the foreseeable future?

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, that’s the plan. In a recent article for the New York Post, he talked about how the Braves will attempt to sign Dansby Swanson to a contract extension once the trade deadline passes in early August.

The Braves want to keep All-Star shortstop Dansby Swanson, who’s having a career year. If form holds, they will make their offer to Swanson just after the Aug. 2 trade deadline. That’s what they did with Freddie Freeman, when they bid $135 million, which turned out to be a much better offer than Freeman figured at the time. Swanson is an Atlanta-area native, and he also saw how the Freeman story played out.

If Swanson does become a free agent, it will be quite another great year for free-agent shortstops. Xander Bogaerts will almost surely opt out, and assuming he maintains health, so will Carlos Correa. NL All-Star SS Trea Turner is also a free agent, making it four.

During these negotiations, a lot will be made about the relationship between Swanson’s agency — Excel Sports, who also represented Freddie Freeman — and the Braves. After all, it was just a few weeks ago that Casey Close put out a public statement that accused the Braves of creating a false narrative about what really happened in the negotiations that took place last offseason.

It’s far from an ideal situation, but I think a lot of it is overblown. Swanson has said that whatever happened in negotiations with Freeman will not affect his decision. I believe him, and I think, if anything, watching the entire Freeman sago unfold will make him more inclined to stay in Atlanta.

Swanson is a hometown kid that has lived out his major-league dream right in his own backyard. He’s grown into a man in front of our eyes and helped bring this city a championship for the first time since 1995. Now, he’s having the best year of his career. Swanson deserves a lucrative extension, and the Braves will offer him one, but he saw what happened to Freeman when he got greedy — a decision Atlanta’s former first baseman surely regrets.

For the last three decades, the Braves have been one of the premier organizations in baseball. A primary reason for that is because the front office always has a team-first approach. No one player is bigger than the team — not Freddie Freeman, and not Dansby Swanson. Despite that, they’ve always been willing to offer their marquee free agents a more than fair offer. Swanson will receive that, and if his heart lies in his hometown, there’s no reason a deal shouldn’t get done before the end of the season.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

 

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