Cubs terminate contract with Dansby Swanson

The Cubs are “very close” to a deal with the shortstop Dansby SwansonThe deal is expected to close soon, NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan reported (via Twitter). The contract is a seven-year, $177 million deal that includes a full no-trade clause, according to Bally Sports’ Russell Dorsey.Twitter link). Swanson is represented by Excel Sports Management.

It’s the second-largest free agent deal in Cubs history, second only to Jason Heyward’s eight-year agreement, worth $184 million from the 2015-16 offseason. After the Cubs have spent the last two seasons cutting salaries and largely going into rebuilding mode, it’s safe to say that the franchise is desperately planning to compete again, given the signings of Swanson, Jameson Tellon, and Cody Bellinger this season, as well as the deals of Seiya Suzuki and Marcus Stroman last winter. .

Rumors have been circulating since the summer that the Cubs were planning to sign one of the “Big Four” shortstops for the 2022-23 season – Swanson, Carlos CorreaAnd the Tria Turneror Xander Bogaerts. Some reports have even suggested that Chicago could sign two shortstops, with an eye on moving one player to another position (like the Rangers ink alike. Corey Seeger And the Marcus Semin last winter). Initial reports indicated that Correa and Bogaerts were the Cubs’ top choices for the group, but during the winter meetings, Swanson began to look like “perhaps their most realistic target at short notice,” in the words of The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

As it turned out, all four big shortstops ended up switching teams, and Swanson was the last to get his next contract. Turner signed with the Phillies, Bogaerts with the Padres, Correa with the Giants, and now Swanson will head to Wrigleyville to join the third different organization in his career. Drafted first overall by the Diamondbacks in 2015, Swanson Arizona was limited to 22 A-ball games, dealt to the Braves that offseason as part of an impressive five-player swap.

The trade became infamous for Arizona State fans, such as Shelby Miller (The centerpiece headed for the D’Backs) He struggled right away with his new team, while Georgia-born Swanson thrived with his hometown Braves. The success wasn’t immediate for Swanson, who hit just .243/.314/.369 over his 1,229 major league debuts from 2016 to 2018. However, he gradually became more productive at the plate, culminating in a 2022 season that saw him hit .277/.329/.447 with 25 homers on 696 PA, which translates to 116 wRC+.

Swanson also hit 27 homers in 2021, bringing some solid power from the shortstop position. Swanson may still be entering his peak years as a batter as he enters his 29-year-old season, making him an even more interesting addition as an all-around player. Swanson is also an excellent first baseman and has a very strong defensive resume that includes a Gold Glove last season. Swanson’s metric scores are above average with a +38 total over the past five seasons, and while his defensive flush saves (+18) and UZR/150 numbers (+0.4) are a bit inconsistent, Swanson is definitely an above average fielder at a key defensive position.

The Cubs already had a fine defensive shortstop in Nico Horner, of course, yet Horner’s versatility allowed Chicago to explore multiple options around the Diamond. With Swanson now taking over at shortstop and Bellinger also signed as his primarily everyday center fielder, it looks like Hoerner will spend most of his time at second base. Between Hoerner and Swanson, the Cubs now have one of the best defensive middles in baseball, which will be especially important in 2023 given new rules that limit defensive turnovers.

More is coming…

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