The Chicago Cubs have been consistently linked to the top free agent short stops, and more fuel was added to the fire when the New York Post’s Jon Heyman tabbed the Cubs as the favorite to sign former Atlanta Brave Dansby Swanson.
Heyman did not give a specific reason why he believed that Chicago was the current favorite, but did note that some in Atlanta were pessimistic about their chances of re-signing the Georgian native. The Cubs have long been linked to all four free-agent shortstops, which may explain why Heyman picked Chicago as the most likely landing spot.
Swanson is coming off of the best season of his career, finishing his 2022 campaign with an fWAR of 6.4, nearly double his previous career-high of 3.4. The righty had a career-high WRC+ of 116, hitting 25 home runs, the second-best mark of his career.
The 28-year-old is also one of the best defenders in baseball, finishing with 21 outs above average, second-best in baseball behind Jonathan Schoop. Signing Swanson would give the Cubs one of the best defensive middle infields in baseball assuming Hoerner is moved back to second base.
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Swanson is not without some red flags, however, as the shortstop likely has the least amount of upside at the plate compared to the rest of the shortstop market, and his breakout came in a contract year after never posting more than 4 fWAR in a season . Still, the righty has the capability of being an impact bat and a premier defender on a Cubs team looking to get back into contention.
Heyman did not have the Cubs in the top two favorites for any of Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, or Xander Bogaerts, all of whom other insiders have speculated at different points that the team could be a major player for. It’s still early in the offseason, and much can still change, but it still appears that Chicago is heavily involved in the shortstop market.
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