Three shortstop options for the Braves to replace Dansby Swanson

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The “big four” free agent shortstops are all off the market, including Atlanta native Dansby Swanson, who inked a deal with the Chicago Cubs. Now, the Braves will have to look elsewhere, or roll with Vaughn Grissom in 2023 — which we’ve seen can be extremely risky. Cristian Pache comes to mind when thinking about the last time Alex Anthopoulos trusted a rookie to start at a premium position. I think the Braves will add somebody; I’m not sure who that somebody will be, but there are three options they should strongly consider:

Amed Rosario

Rosario isn’t a free agent, so the Braves would have to scrape together what’s left of their farm system to make a deal. Rosario wouldn’t come cheap, especially considering the Guardians surprisingly made the playoffs last season. The former top prospect was part of the deal that sent Francisco Lindor to the Mets. Rosario slashed a very respectable .283/.312/.403/.715, and led the majors with 35 infield hits. The Braves could use that type of table-setter, but I doubt they have the prospects to get a deal done. Besides, Cleveland may be looking to push towards the playoffs again, even after they sold off some pieces in previous offseasons. Regardless, if the Braves could make this work, I’d be a big fan.

Jose Iglesias

I keep joking that the Braves are going to sign Iglesias to replace Swanson, but now it doesn’t seem like as much of a joke anymore. Iglesias was pretty solid in 2022, and I named him as a trade candidate for the Braves at the deadline. Iglesias was a good table setter, but he mostly offered a lot of singles and not a ton of extra-base hits or power. He posted a .292 batting average, but only a 90 OPS+. Still, he could be a good guy that can get on base at the top of the lineup, and he probably wouldn’t hamstring the Braves from signing or trading for someone else.

Elvis Andrus

I keep hearing digs at Elvis Andrus online, but Andrus actually had a higher OPS+ with the White Sox than Swanson did with the Braves in 2022. Granted, the sample sizes are way different, but Andrus had a nice season in 2022. Does that mean it’s sustainable at 34-years-old? Probably not, but if the Braves like Grissom to take over at some point, he’s a solid stopgap. Over 43 games with the White Sox, Andrus slashed .271/.309/.464/.773 with nine home runs. There are much worse options out there on a one-year deal.

Photographer: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

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