The Atlanta Braves are still working to re-sign Dansby Swanson in free agency this offseason, but reports indicate the two sides are still far apart in terms of their contract negotiations. There will be a number of teams interested in Swanson if he and the Braves don’t agree to terms, and the latest rumors suggest the St. Louis Cardinals could be a strong fit for the breakout shortstop. Via Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Swanson could wind up with the Cardinals if he and the Braves can’t reach common ground.

“Swanson is the fallback plan for several of the teams vying for [Trea] Turner, [Xander] Bogaerts and [Carlos] Correa, with the Atlanta Braves still making him their top priority. They have offered about $100 million to keep Swanson, but he is seeking at least $140 million, and neither side has budged. If Swanson doesn’t return, executives predict that he could wind up with the St. Louis Cardinals,” writes Nightengale.

With the Braves and Cardinals still $40 million apart in their negotiations, there’s a real chance Swanson ends up walking and fetching the contract he’s seeking elsewhere. Inserting him into a lineup alongside Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado would make for a lethal heart of the order in St. Louis.

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Dansby Swanson is coming off an excellent 2022 season, during which he slashed .277/.329/.447 with 25 home runs, 96 RBI, 99 runs, and 18 stolen bases. He made his first All-Star team and won the Gold Glove at shortstop. While Correa, Turner, and Bogaerts are largely considered the crowning jewels of the free-agency market when it comes to shortstop, Swanson could still be a game-changing addition for any team, and it seems the Cardinals may be ready to explore that avenue.