Rumor: Braves decline $140 million Dansby Swanson counteroffer

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The Winter Meetings began on Monday, and the Hot Stove is burning as rumors and deals flow. Two of the best pitchers in baseball — Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander — signed lucrative deals with new clubs, and there are more on the horizon. The Braves are preoccupied with the shortstop position as contract negotiations with Dansby Swanson’s representation continue. Atlanta reportedly offered Swanson around $100 million in the middle of the season, which the Georiga native declined.

And since then, there have been a few new wrinkles introduced. Reports surfaced the Cubs are interested in signing not only Dansby Swanson but also Xander Bogaerts, which would flip the shortstop free agent market on its head. Mark Bowman also reported that Alex Anthopoulos and Swanson have made contact, which Swanson initiated. However, the discussion didn’t “create any progress on the financial landscape,” in Bowman’s words. And most recently, Justin Toscano reported the club believes they have the prospect capital to make a big trade, which could obviously be to fill the void at shortstop.

However, most of the news hasn’t been anything concrete, except for the in-season offer that Swanson rejected… until now. Jon Heyman reported earlier in the week that the Braves declined Swanson’s $140 million counteroffer, which Heyman notes is the same deal Trevor Story and Javier Baez received.

Assuming the term was six years, the Braves would hypothetically pay Swanson a little over $23 million per year, which is honestly a fair deal in my eyes. It makes Swanson the team’s highest-paid player (AAV), and the Braves retain their most important figure in the clubhouse.

Heyman added they are just rumors but did go as far as to predict Swanson signing a deal with the Cubs.

If this is true, it tells me the Braves aren’t willing to go above a specific number because of value, not because they don’t have the funds. It also tells me that Atlanta will not match Dansby Swanson’s best offer. If he returns to his hometown team, it’ll be at a lesser number. I feel like the Braves filling the void via the trade market is becoming more and more likely.

David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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