The Atlanta Braves are going to be in a free agency dogfight to keep Dansby Swanson, but fans shouldn’t worry too much according to MLB experts.
Perhaps the biggest fear for the Atlanta Braves and their fans this offseason is that they will relive last offseason with Freddie Freeman by watching hometown shortstop Dansby Swanson leave for another team in 2023.
Make no mistake, Atlanta’s roster is in phenomenal shape if they were to lose Swanson in free agency. Ronald Acuña Jr., Austin Riley, Spencer Strider, Michael Harris II, Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson and more are locked up and comprise a strong core no matter what happens with the shortstop. But at the same time, Swanson has been a leader for the Braves, especially after Freeman’s departure for the 2022 season, and is a Georgia boy who’s beloved by the fan base.
If a panel of ESPN MLB experts is to be trusted, however, fans in Cobb County and beyond have nothing to fear.
Braves will keep Dansby Swanson according to most ESPN MLB experts
On Tuesday, ESPN polled their panel of seven experts — Bradford Doolittle, Alden Gonzalez, Joon Lee, Kiley McDaniel, Buster Olney, Jesse Rogers and David Schoenfield — about where the top MLB free agents will land this offseason.
Out of those seven experts, only two of them didn’t have Swanson returning to the Braves next season. Now, the five experts that did have the shortstop staying in Atlanta did vary a bit on the contract as the predicted deals ranged from 5-7 years but they all featured an AAV of around $25 million or thereabouts.
While there has been plenty of chatter about teams like the Cubs or Dodgers or otherwise being interested in Swanson while also having deep pockets, the Braves have been wizards with keeping home-grown talent in the building, though it has often been by signing extensions prior to players hitting free agency.
Though they lost Freeman to LA last offseason, the Swanson situation does feel a bit different. And while there is justifiable concern that he might leave, perhaps patience is the best thing because staying with the Braves, all told, still makes the most sense.