Cubs' Swanson was best free agent deal, per NL exec


The Chicago Cubs went into the offseason looking for a marquee signing, and nabbed one of the big four of the shortstop crop.

The Cubs signed Dansby Swanson to a seven-year, $177 million deal.

And one National League exec called it the best deal in terms of value and fit for club.

"If you're talking about pure value as relates to the market, I might lean toward Swanson," the NL exec told "I still think it's a ton of money per year for a middle-of-the-diamond guy, but given what the rest of the shortstop market earned, it might end up being the best value of the group when all is said and done."

Swanson's contract definitely looks like a bargain compared to what the rest of the crop got. Trea Turner signed an 11-year, $300 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Xander Bogaerts signed an 11-year, $280 million deal with the San Diego Padres. And Carlos Correa re-signed with the Minnesota Twins for six years and $200 million after two failed physicals with the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets.

It's worth noting Swanson got a single vote in the results, while Correa to stay with the Twins got three votes despite all the physical mishaps along the way. Certainly the Giants' offer of 13 years, $350 million, and the Mets' offer of 12 years, $315 million make that eventual $200 million over six years look like a bargain and sway the votes.

Swanson was ranked as the sixth-best short stop in the majors by MLB Network. Turner, Correa and Bogaerts took the first three spots on the list.

Drew Smyly said Swanson was the shortstop he would've signed.

“He really, really wants to win and help the guys around him because he doesn’t have a big ego at all,” Smyly said to The Athletic. “I was saying that last year, ‘If the Cubs are trying to get a shortstop, we got to go get Dansby. That’s the guy I would get.’ He’s just a winner. He makes people better. He’s very positive. Especially with some of our younger players, they’ll see how he goes about his business and take to that.”

Last season, Swanson slashed .277/.329/.447 from the plate while recording a positive 9-run defensive runs saved value at shortstop, placing him at an elite defensive level. 

For that, Swanson was awarded his first All-Star nod, Gold Glove and a near top-10 finish in the MVP voting.

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