Of all the teams in the market for one of the premier shortstops this offseason, the Cubs are the biggest Wild Card. They are in the middle of a rebuild, but in a weak division, they seem to feel they could speed things up by spending big this winter. And apparently, not one but two shortstop free agents have their attention — Dansby Swanson and Xander Bogaerts.
In this scenario, the Cubs would be taking a page out of the Rangers' book from last offseason, when Texas signed both Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. Signing both Bogaerts and Swanson would likely hinge upon convincing Bogaerts to move to third base.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 6, 2022
In a top-tier market like Chicago, the Cubs have the payroll flexibility to make two splash signings like Swanson and Bogaerts, which is a nightmare situation for the Braves. That would leave just Carlos Correa on the market, with teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, and others all needing to fill in a hole at shortstop. If the Cubs were to land both Swanson and Bogaerts, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the Braves would have to pivot to the trade market or turn to internal solutions.
We’ll see what happens, but it appears Swanson is a top target for the Cubs, who have the potential to play a major spoiler this offseason. Swanson’s fiancé, Mallory Pugh, is also a professional soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars, so playing in the same city could appeal to the couple. I’m still holding out hope the Braves work out a deal, but I think we are past the point of hoping for Swanson to take a hometown discount. If that were going to happen, it would have already. If the Braves want to keep their All-Star shortstop, they are going to have to open up their wallets.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire