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Dansby Swanson He is the last unsigned player from MLBTR’s top ten free agents. He will be the last of the four high-level shortstops to come off the board, and his arrival will certainly affect how the market plays out.

The Phillies and Giants entered the offseason as potential landing spots for top shortstops, especially if San Francisco was lost. Aaron Judge. Few foresaw the Padres jumping into that mix. Xander BogaertsSan Diego will take one of the “Big Four” off the board, possibly opening up another landing spot for Swanson.

Let’s take a look at the most compelling landing spots.

Best fit

Cubs

The Cubs have been linked to all four major shortstops earlier in the offseason, but there’s no indication they’re willing to pay the top asking price on the other three. NBC Sports Chicago’s Gordon Wittenmeier wrote the interview last night. Carlos Correa Only the general details of the possible financial parameters have been determined without any formal discount on the table. Swanson received the team’s lowest deal, perhaps making him a more desirable target for Chicago. Although Swanson won’t push $300MM or more like Correa, Treya Turner And Bogaerts had, he’s probably worth more than $150MM. This calls for the biggest investment the Cubs have made since signing Jason Heyward Seven years ago.

Is Chicago ownership willing to go to that level? They should have the salary cap space to do so, as they have around $157MM in projected 2023 commitments. That’s more than where they sat the past two seasons, but nowhere near the $200MM+ franchise record highs of a few years ago. The Cubs are coming off below average for the second consecutive season, but continue to maintain that they are not rebuilding. Findings are difficult to estimate. Jameson Taillon And Cody Bellinger Getting a 74-win team back into postseason contention alone, especially since they lost Willson Contreras to free agency. Even adding Swanson to the mix leaves them behind the Cardinals and Brewers, but he’s only turning 29 and should still be productive in 2024 and beyond — when the Cubs have a more realistic path to contending. Presence Nico Horner That means the Cubs don’t need a shortstop. The second base seems manageable Nick Madrigal Or Christopher MorrellHowever, adding Swanson and Hoerner to kick the other side of the bag strengthens the middle infield.

Twins

The Twins lost Correa after just one year in Minneapolis. Their reported ten-year, $285 million bid was just shy of the 13-year, $350 million contract they eventually got from the Giants. Minnesota finished 78-84 in Korea, and while good health from their pitching staff in 2023 should help, they’re behind the Rangers and White Sox in the L Central as it’s currently constructed. Turning to Swanson would be a natural fallback, and Minnesota had already met with representatives even before the official loss to Correa.

Minnesota has ample payroll, as evidenced by their proposal to Correa, which ultimately failed. They’re unlikely to make Swanson a matching offer, but ownership and the front office could allocate the remaining cap space to plug the shortstop spot. The twins bought Kyle Farmer from the Reds last month. He’s probably best suited for a utility role on the roster, but is currently the starting shortstop. Former first general election Royce Lewis It can happen in the middle. He won’t be ready for Opening Day after tearing the ACL in his right knee for a second time last June. It’s anyone’s guess how much of his athleticism and explosiveness he’ll retain after suffering a second serious injury. Lewis bounces back strong, but if Minnesota adds Swanson, he could play a multi-positional role around the diamond.

Good

The Braves have officially maintained that they want to keep Swanson, who has been their everyday shortstop for the past six seasons. There is definitely a fit on the roster. Atlanta seems to be rolling together Orlando Arcia And finally high hopes Von Grissom If Swanson walks. The Braves have had success trusting young players like Grissom in recent years, but it’s not without risk. Prospect evaluators raised concerns about his defense, and he played all 63 games above High-A. In a division with the Mets and Phillies, the Braves are facing stiff competition for their best foot forward.

As has been the case for months, Atlanta’s question is financial. They are at a franchise-record high for their players’ payroll, and their preseason business is focused on the trade market. They brought talent Sean Murphy And Joe JimenezFostering young talent but taking no undisclosed wages. Mark Bowman of MLB.com reported last week that the Braves and Swanson have had little contact since the start of the season, writing that their latest offer would come with an annual salary in the $16-17MM range over six to seven years. That seems extremely easy, especially given the strength of the rest of the shortstop market. The brave can turn back, and John Heyman of the New York Post He tweeted. Yesterday, Jay Swanson – a Georgia native – still wants to return to Atlanta. At least as of last week, however, there was a big loophole to overcome in negotiations.

Viable but long shots

The Dodgers

The Dodgers were easily tied to Swanson after showing little interest in other top shortstops this offseason. It’s been a relatively quiet season for LA, perhaps in part due to hopes of resuming their luxury tax status next year by coming in under the $233MM threshold. That’s not an outright mandate, but team officials have indicated they’re interested in integrating some of their highly touted player prospects into the mix. The Dodgers currently project him at a competitive accounting tax number of $201MM, so they could squeeze Swanson while staying below the line as things stand. As MLBTR’s Darragh MacDonald wrote this week, however, public transparency on their tax numbers has been delayed until 2018. Trevor Bauer Prohibition is charged. Gavin Lux He is on hand as a potential shortstop option Chris Taylor Maybe slide to second base in that situation.

Red Sox

Like the Dodgers and Twins, the Red Sox lost their star shortstop in free agency. Now they need middle relief and a right-handed bat to balance the line-up. Swanson will eliminate those goals at once, and Boston has nearly $40MM in cap space before hitting the tax cap. Like the Dodgers, they are loosely linked with Swanson this offseason. After watching Bogaerts go, it would still be surprising if they went all-out chasing Swanson. It is reported that they have offered a 162mm discount for six years to Power Star Shop. While they may be willing to go a little higher than that, the 280mm set by San Diego is the best option. That’s understandable, though Swanson’s contract could beat Boston’s offer for Bogart. Will the Red Sox make a more aggressive offer to Swanson with the homegrown star they’ve repeatedly called a top offseason priority?

It seems unlikely

  • Angels: The Halos have an uncertain midfield mix and may look outside the organization to complement the organization. David Fletcher, Luis Rengifo And maybe Gio Urshela In that group. They have already been active, taking on nearly 40MM in salary to add Urhsela in 2023. Hunter Renfroe, Tyler Anderson And Carlos Estevez. None of them came with a longer commitment than the three years they guaranteed Anderson. Will owner Arte Moreno want to add a six-year contract to the books as he hopes to sell the franchise by opening day?
  • Cardinals: The Cardinals were previously tied to Swanson during the offseason. Derek Gold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pointed out that this could only happen if the Cards get hold of what they consider a major position on the trade side. Instead, they signed Contreras, the top free agent available, for $87.5MM over five seasons. A franchise-record deal for Swanson, on top of that, doesn’t feel out of character for an organization that often makes big lifts via trade.
  • Diamond backs The D-Backs could use a shortstop and were tied with Bogaerts early in the break. Rarely have they come from nowhere to make major free agent investments (see: Zack Greinke) but they haven’t topped $100MM in opening day payroll in the past two years. With the previous front office drafting the first overall pick in 2015, bringing Swanson back would make a lot of sense from a roster standpoint, but the money probably doesn’t line up.
  • huge San Francisco may be able to accommodate another notable signing, as it is currently nearly $27MM under the luxury tax threshold. They might be able to get Swanson to agree on tax evasion, but after getting Correa, it seems unlikely. Brandon Crawford And Wilmer Flores Give them other options in the second and third stages. First base, center field and the bullpen all seem to be areas of great need.
  • Sailors: Early in the season, the Mariners expressed interest in pursuing a shortstop with an eye toward stepping up to the secondary. JP Crawford. Then they were presented to the market Colton Wong Instead, it seems to destroy them.
  • Mets: Mets owner Steve Cohen’s aggressiveness warrants a cursory mention of every top free agent. They are said to be considering a run at Correa with an eye on moving him to at least third place. However, Swanson is not that much of a hitter, and he’s kicking him to third when he’s thrown out Eduardo Escobar, Louis Guillorme And high hopes Brett Batt It looks stretched.
  • Orioles: The Orioles were rumored to be circling the shortstop market early in the offseason. They haven’t shown any signs of wanting to make a big investment this summer, though. At the MLB level or with multiple top field prospects on the horizon (ie Gunnar Henderson, Jordan Westberg, Joey Ortiz), a pursuit of Swanson doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
  • Padres: San Diego is in Mets territory where every free agent warrants a mention given his prowess, but the infield has been overloaded since the Bogaerts deal.
  • Yankees: For the second straight season, the Yankees have shown little interest in exploring the top of a loaded shortstop class. They kept faith in the promises. Oswald Peraza And Anthony Volpe To finally hold that mantle. It seems that after re-signing the judge, they want to make another big investment Carlos Rodon It is the target.

Note: All salary projections are provided by Roster Resources.

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