The Twins recently chatted with Dansby Swanson via video conference, reports Aaron Gleeman of the Athletic. They’re one of a handful of teams in discussion with the longtime Brave, who’s one of the three top shortstops remaining in free agency.
Minnesota is one of a handful of teams that has been involved in the market. Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports the Cubs, Cardinals and Red Sox have joined the Twins in showing significant interest this offseason (Twitter link). The incumbent Braves have also publicly maintained they’d like to keep Swanson.
There’s still a fair bit of uncertainty in Swanson’s market, as he’s not the primary target of either Minnesota or Boston. The Twins continue to prioritize Carlos Correa, although there’s also a chance they’re outbid by a bigger spender. The Dodgers are reportedly uninterested in Correa, but the Giants loom as a major threat after missing out on Aaron Judge. San Francisco still has plenty of spending capacity after Judge declined their offer in the $360MM range, and Correa has been reported as their favorite of the top-tier shortstops available. The Twins have been linked to both Bogaerts and now Swanson as potential fallback options in the event they lose the bidding for Correa.
Swanson’s surely a secondary option for the Red Sox as well. Boston chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has called Bogaerts their top priority on a number of occasions, and reports this morning suggested there was growing momentum in talks between the Sox and their longtime shortstop. So long as no deal is in place, the Red Sox are a viable fit for Swanson. If they do retain Bogaerts, he’d pair with Trevor Story in the middle infield and almost certainly rule out a Swanson pickup.
It looks unlikely the Cardinals will remain in the top of the shortstop market moving forward. St. Louis agreed to terms with top free agent backstop Willson Contreras this morning. That obviously doesn’t present a positional logjam for Swanson, but it adds a reported five-year, $87.5MM contract to the books. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggested earlier this week the Cards were unlikely to pursue the top shortstops unless they acquired their catcher more affordably via trade. A significant free agent deal for Contreras seems likely to leave the Cards to rely on Tommy Edman and some combination of Brendan Donovan and Nolan Gorman up the middle.
The Cubs are a stronger fit for Swanson. They’re not attempting to retain an in-house free agent shortstop as Minnesota and Boston are. Chicago has Nico Hoerner as a franchise building block, but he’s already expressed a willingness to kick over to second base to accommodate a big-ticket acquisition. The Cubs have already met with each of Correa, Bogaerts and Swanson and could make sense for any of that trio. Yet with the strong interest Correa and Bogaerts are seemingly drawing from other clubs, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic wrote this afternoon the Cubs view Swanson as a more realistic target.
Swanson’s going to command a significant deal in his own right, of course. He won the NL Gold Glove award at shortstop in 2022, and he’s coming off arguably the best offensive season of his career. The 28-year-old (29 in February) hit .277/.329/.447 with 25 home runs while suiting up in all 162 games. He made the no-brainer decision to decline a qualifying offer, meaning any signing team would have to forfeit a draft choice to bring him in. MLBTR predicted Swanson to land a seven-year, $154MM deal at the opening of the offseason.