While it does largely appear that the Braves and Cubs are the likely landing spots for Dansby Swanson, one dark horse team could be lurking.
Now that the likes of Aaron Judge, Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander are out of the way in free agency, basically all of the big-name focus — at least the focus outside of Carlos Rodon — is on the shortstop market. Trea Turner is already locked up with the Phillies, but where Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson land remains undecided.
In the case of Swanson, the latest rumors over this week and the end of the Winter Meetings has seemed to suggest that he’s likely to end up on either the Chicago Cubs or the Atlanta Braves. That’s not in stone and there could be one dark horse team looking to spoil the party for both teams.
ESPN insider Alden Gonzalez reported on a question asked to Los Angeles Angeles GM Perry Minasian about the team crossing the luxury tax threshold, to which he said that was possible. Gonzalez then made the connection that those comments could be related to Swanson to fill a need at shortstop.
Dansby Swanson rumors: Angels lurking as dark horse to steal SS from Braves or Cubs
This isn’t to say that the Angels are 100% in on signing Swanson in free agency. It is to say, however, that a reporter connected to the team is suggesting as much, which is of note at the very least.
It’s certainly high time for LA to start making big moves like pursuing Swanson, though. This team has Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, two generational stars, and they didn’t even sniff the postseason last year. That’s not going to cut it, hence why Ohtani trade rumors have already started being floated.
Who knows if the Swanson target this offseason is a reality. But if Minasian is serious about spending even to the point of paying the tax, then perhaps it should be for the Angels to get the ball rolling around their superstars.