Braves Country might lose fan favorites in back-to-back offseasons. Freddie Freeman joined the team’s cross country rivals, and the likelihood that Dansby Swanson will return to Atlanta isn’t encouraging. With Carlos Correa off the market, all of the shortstop-needy teams are focused on the only high-quality option left.
The Braves are competing with the Red Sox, Twins, Cubs, Cardinals, and Dodgers for Swanson’s services. Those are some big market ball clubs whom Alex Anthopoulos will not get into a bidding war with. AA won’t be a prisoner of the moment. Unless the Braves raise their offer substantially, Swanson will likely have to leave anywhere from $30-50 million on the table in this kind of free agent climate to return to Atlanta.
Would you give up that kind of money in a similar situation? No, don’t even lie to yourself. Most of us will never come into contact with that kind of money. We’d all follow the cash, which means Braves Country might want to get used to life without Swanson.
I recently explored the idea of which city would Braves fans most hate to see Dansby Swanson land. Personally, the Cardinals are a close second behind the Dodgers. It would be brutal to see two fan favorites joining the team’s rival. But don’t let that stop the national media from drumming up those scenarios. Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com explored Swanson’s most interesting fit and most likely destination.
Most interesting fit: Though the Dodgers have been quiet this winter in their bid to reset their luxury-tax-threshold penalty, we can’t shake the storyline of a Braves hero leaving Atlanta for L.A. two years in a row. How weird would it be for both Swanson and Freddie Freeman to be in road gray when the Dodgers visit the Braves in May?
Most likely destination: Swanson just got married to Mallory Pugh, a star for the Chicago Red Stars of the Women’s Professional Soccer League, and the Cubs are in the market for a star shortstop. Let’s kick this one into the net (that is what they do in soccer, right?).
Castrovince is just stirring the pot, but I can’t lie. Major League Baseball would probably love it if Swanson burned the Braves and joined his former teammate Freddie Freeman in sunny Los Angeles because it would do numbers. I’m very clearly biased and would throw up if Swanson ever wears Dodger Blue.
Castrovince does bring up a fair point with Chicago being the most likely fit. They should be very comfortable slightly overpaying for Swanson, who could be the centerpiece of the team as they build around him. He’s the best defender at his position and provides elite intangibles off the field. It makes a ton of sense for him personally as well, given his new bride Mallory Pugh plays for the city’s professional soccer team.
If it were me, and I had to choose somewhere other than Atlanta, Boston would be the place. The Red Sox are a historic franchise in the American League and would be an excellent fit for Swanson.
Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire
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