By and large, the Atlanta Braves have had a successful 2022 season, winning 101 games during the regular season before getting knocked out by the surging Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS in four games in their quest to defend their championship. Despite the contentious departure of first baseman Freddie Freeman, the Braves maintained an elite level of play, snatching the AL East crown away from rivals New York Mets during the final week of the regular season, thanks in no small part to shortstop Dansby Swanson's elite play.
During the 2022 season, Swanson posted a career high 6.4 WAR, per Fangraphs, the 28-year old middle infielder's all-around contributions in full display. In 696 plate appearances across 162 games (availability being the best ability yet again), Swanson slashed .277/.329/.447 to go along with his 25 home runs and 96 runs batted in, but it's his elite defense that separates him from the pack. He won a 2022 Gold Glove award after he posted a league-leading 21.4 Defensive Runs Above Average.
Thus, it makes sense that Dansby Swanson, a pending free agent, will command a huge contract as teams vie for his signature. And rumor has it that the Braves have opened negotiations with Swanson with a solid, if a bit low, offer of $100 million, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
“The Braves made an opening offer in-season to star shortstop Dansby Swanson, and sources suggested it was in the $100 million ballpark. The friend thought Swanson, a Georgia product, preferred to stay in Atlanta. That’s probably just a start, but it sounded like there’s work to do,” Heyman wrote.
$100 million for Swanson seems like an incredible bargain, which is why some fans have turned up their nose on such a bizarre offer. Nonetheless, this is why these talks are called “negotiations”, as both sides try to come up with an agreement that suits them both.
Of course the Braves would want to try and get him for as low a contract as possible, especially when taking into account the bargain-bin contract Swanson's middle-infield partner Ozzie Albies is already locked into. Meanwhile, Swanson should definitely want to push that into perhaps the $150 million mark as he tries to make bank off a stellar contract year.
At the end of the day, the Braves will not want to go through the same thing they did with Freeman. Perhaps Dansby Swanson could even give the team the slightest of pay cuts, especially when his preference is to stay with the NL East powerhouse.