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Braves Dansby Swanson strategy could come back to haunt them

The Atlanta Braves are being patient with Dansby Swanson, allowing his market to develop. Could they come to regret that strategy?

Dansby Swanson is one of the best shortstops available on the free-agent market, joining the likes of Trea Turner, Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts. All four are expected to command large contracts, with Swanson coming off a career year, which resulted in his first All-Star appearance.

Instead of reaching for Swanson now, Alex Anthopoulos and Co. seem happy to let his market develop, hoping that his asking price will come down.

As MLB.com’s Mark Bowman pointed out in a recent column, Atlanta is happy letting Swanson sit rather than overpaying now. Per Bowman, “instead, he’ll (Anthopoulos) stick with his gut feeling like he did with Josh Donaldson and likely wishes he did with Marcell Ozuna.”

The contract Bowman is referring to in Ozuna now looks like a rather massive overpay, especially due to his off-field issues.

Could Braves come to regret Dansby Swanson strategy?

Atlanta’s strategy with Dansby Swanson is eerily similar with how they treated Freddie Freeman last offseason, and we all know how that ended. As it turns out, Atlanta was prepared to replace Freeman via trade, acquiring Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics.

Could they do the same with Swanson?

Swanson’s likely long-term replacement, 21-year-old Vaughn Grissom, has been preparing for his potential eventual role with Braves coach Ron Washington.

“I don’t think Dansby is replaceable unless they go get a superstar,” Washington said this week, per The Athletic (subscription required). “But we can handle the position. We’ve got (Orlando) Arcia, and we’ve got Grissom — that kid is getting better and better every day. He’s here in New Orleans right now, and I’m telling you, he’s improving big-time.”

For Swanson, that could mean a long wait, especially if the Braves are confident in their backup plan.

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