With the 2022 season behind us and the Hot Stove able to burn, we’re taking an in depth have a look at among the most outstanding gamers obtainable in free agency.
Name: Dansby Swanson
Former workforce: Atlanta Braves
Age (as of Opening Day 2023): 29
2022 stats: .277/.329/.447, 25 HR, 96 RBI, 99 R, 18 SB
The No. 1 total choice by the D-backs in the 2015 MLB Draft, Swanson had been a little bit of an underachiever till ’20, when he loved a breakout season with the Braves.
Swanson hit 10 homers with 35 RBIs and an .809 OPS whereas enjoying each sport in the pandemic-shortened 60-game marketing campaign. He then adopted that up with a career-high 27 homers and 88 RBIs in 160 video games in 2021. He smacked a pair of house runs in the World Series that yr, serving to elevate Atlanta to its first championship since 1995.
The 28-year-old proved that his emergence was no fluke in 2022, belting 25 house runs with 96 RBIs and a .776 OPS whereas enjoying all 162 video games and incomes his first All-Star look.
Swanson’s previous three seasons have thrust him into the higher echelon of this yr’s free-agent class, one which incorporates three different star shortstops: Trea Turner, Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts.
Many count on Swanson, a Georgia native, to stay with the Braves. But there will likely be no scarcity of curiosity in him this offseason.
With Matt Olson, Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley all locked up on multi-year offers, Swanson is the one lacking piece to maintain Atlanta’s infield collectively into the second half of the last decade. Swanson clearly likes hitting at Truist Park — he slashed .304/.362/.492 at house in comparison with .251/.298/.405 on the highway this previous season — and the Braves’ core ought to maintain the membership in competition on an annual foundation. Will Atlanta use among the cash it saved on its team-friendly offers to deliver Swanson again?
Turner can also be a free agent, though he’s anticipated to command a far larger contract than Swanson. If the Dodgers take a run at Aaron Judge or any of the top free-agent beginning pitchers, Swanson could possibly be a lower-cost different to Turner, albeit hardly an affordable one.
The Phillies are prone to pursue one of many huge 4 shortstops this winter, though Turner and Bogaerts are seemingly greater on their want record. If they miss out on each of these choices, the Phils might flip to Swanson, who produced nicely in opposition to Philadelphia (.815 OPS) in 19 video games this previous season.
It’s solely pure to imagine that any workforce dealing with the lack of its personal shortstop will likely be in the marketplace for a substitute, and if Bogaerts leaves Boston, the Red Sox might see Swanson as a youthful different. Boston’s No. 1 prospect (and No. 7 total in baseball, per MLB Pipeline) is shortstop Marcelo Mayer, who turns 20 this December. He’s not projected to achieve the Majors till not less than 2024, so the Red Sox might search for a short-term stopgap in the event that they imagine that timeline.
Miami acquired below-average manufacturing from its shortstops in 2022, with Miguel Rojas (.605 OPS) getting the overwhelming majority of the enjoying time. Rojas has one yr and $5 million left on his contract, however Swanson would characterize a large improve because the Marlins look to compete in a deep National League East.
The Giants will likely be linked to just about each notable free agent this offseason, as San Francisco is anticipated to spend aggressively. Brandon Crawford has one yr remaining on his deal, so bringing in a brand new shortstop on a long-term deal wouldn’t be shocking.
“Dansby is an occasional All-Star-caliber participant who’s arguably one of the best defender in this deep free-agent shortstop class. He was lucky to have a profession yr offensively and put up above-average energy numbers for a second consecutive marketing campaign in his platform yr. He makes use of the entire area, and whereas he benefited from some luck this yr, the plus pace and improved method give causes to imagine that it could possibly be near sustained. He has plus vary, arms, toes and arm energy. Teams will worth the defender appropriately, and it’s a talent that ought to age nicely. However, it can even be purchaser beware in much less offensive house environments. Swanson is a winner with well-above-average make-up that will likely be a boon for no matter workforce is ready to land him in free agency.”
Swanson will characterize an improve to nearly any lineup, however the workforce that indicators him have to be ready to observe him swing and miss on a frequent foundation. Swanson’s strikeout proportion was in the underside 20 % in 2022, whereas his whiff proportion was in the underside 15 % of MLB. Swanson’s strikeout charge has been in the underside 40 % of the Majors yearly of his profession, all the time coming in worse than the league common.
Swanson’s three-year output heading into free agency is just like Marcus Semien, who landed a seven-year, $175 million deal from the Rangers final winter. Semien had 85 homers and 217 RBIs in 377 video games from 2019-21; Swanson has 62 homers and 219 RBIs in 382 video games over the previous three seasons.
Swanson is heading into his age-29 season, whereas Semien was coming into his age-31 marketing campaign, giving Swanson a robust case for a deal of not less than seven years.