Unless you have been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks you already know that the offseason isn’t living up to the expectations Cubs fan had at the conclusion of the 2022 season.  The expectation that Carlos Correa could be swayed to coming to the Northside was put to rest earlier this week with his agreeing to a monster contract with San Francisco.  The subsequent report that the Cubs never formally offerred their number one target a contract put the cherry on top of that fiasco.  Correa’s signing left Dansby Swanson the last of the four top shortstops remaining.

Swanson was arguably everyone’s fourth choice prior to the winter meetings.  Statistically that might be true.  He hasn’t lived up to the success that the Trea Turner’s, Carlos Correa’s, and Xander Boegarts’ of the world have seen in their career  That doesn’t mean that i wouldn’t want him in my organization. His contract will reflect his spot in the free agency pecking order.  Swanson has said he has been able to get past the issues that plagued his early career and if you want evidence to believe the man look at his 2022 season.  He had career highs in WAR,  batting average,  hits, doubles, RBI, stolen bases, and OPS+ while continuing to provide his usual stellar defense.  The biggest knock would be the huge increase in his strikeout total.

Dansby would technically be replacing Nick Madrigal in the Cubs lineup.  Hoerner would slide back to second base where he was a Gold Glove finalist allowing Swanson to handle shortstop where he won the 2022 Gold Glove.  Madrigal’s defense isn’t on the same level as Hoerner and Swanson.  The elimination of the shift will require a middle infield combo that can cover more ground leaving Madrigal at a disadvantage.  Swanson has also proven to be more reliable than Madrigal in his ability to stay on the field.  Madrigal has only played in 113 games in the last two seasons.

Swanson’s price tag is going to be higher than most expected.  That unfortunately is the world we live in now.  The contracts this winter have been crazy and unfortunately that won’t be changing.  Sure, the Cubs are most likely not going to win the World Series in 2023.  The goal should still be to upgrade the team and put the best possible roster on the field.  Swanson starts the team heading in that direction.  He has World Series experience, a department that is suddenly dwindling. He would be a leader on a team of young and inexperienced players.

If the Front Office were to make some other moves to compliment the Swanson addition you might be looking at one of the Wild Card spots.  Showing signs of life like that will start to attract some bigger name Free Agents allowing the team to continue to improve and hopefully making that deep run in the postseason. You can bring the young prospects into this conversation but they are only going to start trickling in this season while a majority are at least two years away.  The majority of these prospects are going to be under team control throughout most of whatever contract Swanson could end up with.

I think it’s time for the team to revisit the goal of making the playoffs and seeing what happens from there.  Dansby Swanson makes sense for a team striving for that.  Carter and Jed need to bring him to Chicago.  Their job might not depend on if at the moment but I wouldn’t want to experience the chain of reactions they could go through by not doing so.  Come to Chicago, Lieutenant Dans!

Featured Image: Brett Davis- USA Today Sports

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