Former All-Star bashes Braves old friend Dansby Swanson

EHC230308059 CAN VS CHC

The Braves are coming off an important series win over the Phillies and followed it up with an exhilarating come-from-behind victory over the Diamondbacks.

Down to their last out, Sean Murphy blasted a two-run home run in the ninth inning to tie the game, leading to an extra-innings win. Things seem to be finally trending in the right direction for Atlanta ahead of the trade deadline, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for an old friend.

Dansby Swanson and the Cubs have been playing abysmal baseball, currently sitting 5.5 games out of the final Wild Card spot, and a former All-Star is calling out Atlanta’s former shortstop.

“Like, you can’t hang everything on him, but I think when you look at the contract. And let’s forget the contract. Just looking at the numbers … and so many things. Like, you look at hard-hit rates dropping and things you read over the course. It’s like at some point, you have to make adjustments. Not saying go back to bare minimum, bare nothing. I’m just saying the adjustments have to come. It looks like he’s trying too hard to do something and it’s not comfortable for him.”

In his first season with the Cubs after signing a seven-year, $177 million contract, Dansby Swanson put together one of his better seasons, earning All-Star honors and another Gold Glove. He finished with a .244 average and 22 home runs, good for a league average 100 OPS+.

Swanson helped lead Chicago to a second-place finish in the NL Central but they ended up missing the postseason. It was an improvement from the previous year and gave management the confidence to continue to spend money this past offseason; however, things haven’t gone the way many had hoped this season.

Swanson is certainly a factor in those underwhelming results. The Georgia native owns a 74 OPS+ (26% below league average), which would be the second-worst mark of his career since becoming a full-time starter in 2017.

The Braves opted not to entertain a bidding war for Swanson’s services, in part, due to the outrageous price the Cubs ended up paying. In a contract year, he put together the best season of his career and cashed in.

Still, the Cubs were buying more than just the production, which was always going to regress a bit from his 2022 campaign. They were buying his leadership and other intangibles. For the most part, I’d say he’s delivered on that front but has left some to be desired on the field.

Dansby Swanson has always been a streaky hitter, so there’s no telling what kind of numbers he’ll put up over the second half of the season. Still, to Floyd’s point, he’s got to be better. In that same breath, this is baseball and no single player can make or break a team. Pointing the finger at Dansby Swanson alone is disingenuous.

The Braves are dealing with their own shortstop struggles in Orlando Arcia, but the difference is Atlanta is paying him pennies compared to his predecessor. Cubs fans have a legitimate gripe with Dansby Swanson right now, but take it from a Braves fan, he’s more than capable of going on a two-month tear.

Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire

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