Cubs make big offseason splash, acquire star shortstop Dansby Swanson
The Cubs have made their offseason splash.
Sources confirmed the team signed shortstop Dansby Swanson to a multi-year deal, according to reports. Swanson was part of a loaded shortstop free agent class this offseason, joining Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts and Carlos Correa.
In Swanson, the Cubs are getting a player coming off a career year with 25 home runs and a .776 OPS and took home the NL Gold Glove at shortstop. He posted a 6.4 WAR, per Fangraphs, and boasted a weighted runs created plus of 116, which is 16 points above league average.
Swanson has been extremely durable, playing in all but 2 games over the last three seasons. He has developed into the type of player the Braves thought he could be when they traded for him 6 months after he was picked 1st overall in the 2015 draft. He was the Braves starting shortstop during their 2021 run to the World Series title.
In his career, Swanson has slashed .255/.321/.417 with 102 home runs, 411 RBI and a 16.2 WAR, per Fangraphs. He was the 5th ranked free agent by MLB Trade Rumors, behind Aaron Judge and the other 3 shortstops.
The addition gives the Cubs premier middle infield defense as Nico Hoerner likely moves to second base, where he was a Gold Glove finalist in 2020.
The move continues to solidify the Cubs defense up the middle. President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer emphasized the importance of that at the Winter Meetings.
“There are certain baseball truisims that I think are true — being strong up the middle really helps, especially with the new rules,” Hoyer said. “I think it’s really important to have really good defense up the middle.”
With that pair in the middle infield and Cody Bellinger in center field, the Cubs have dramatically improved the spine of their defensive core. Swanson also adds star power to the Cubs and a boost to a team that had a successful run after the All-Star Game, going 39-31 over the last 70 games of the season.
“I think players saw the second half last year and the competitive team that we put on the field every day during that second half,” general manager Carter Hawkins said at the Winter Meetings.