Dansby is currently signed through the 2020 season for $3.15 million.
The former Vanderbilt star & No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, Dansby is the latest in the Atlanta’s long line of defensive wizards at shortstop. But what he brings to the lineup from the SS position hasn’t been seen in Georgia since Rafael Furcal played for the hometown team.
On July 4th last season, up to that point in the season he had the 3rd-highest hard-hit percentage behind only Javier Baez & Trevor Story. But like most of his career, a setback derailed the rest of the season for him. He injured his quad and you could just tell it was bothering him the rest of the season. He hit 17 homeruns before that day, compared to zero, after. His batting average went from .274 to .197 & his slugging percentage went from 0.500 to 0.245 (less than half). But when he’s healthy, he’s one of the best hitters in our lineup. The career .247 hitter has improved his average every full season he’s played in baseball’s highest level of competition, and he’s off to a .391 start in 2020.
His 2019 advanced analytics have his closest comps listed as: Yasiel Puig, Ramon Laureano, Hunter Dozier, & Joe Pederson.
Compare Swanson’s contract (1 year/$3.15M remaining) to the other NL East shortstops:
Didi Gregorius: 1 year/$14 million.
Miguel Rojas: through 2021, 2 years/$10.25 million + 2 yr team option.
Amed Rosario: pre-arbitration eligible
Trea Turner: through 2020, $7.45 million
Now compare his contract to his closest SS comps across all of baseball:
Orlando Arcia: through 2020/$2.2 million
Nick Ahmed: signed through 2023/$32.5 million (4 year deal)
Now preferably, we’d like to lock him up for below market value; but that’s not always possible. But Braves GM, Alex Anthopoulos has a history of securing cornerstone pieces in team-friendly deals.
A “fair” deal, meaning both sides get what they reasonably want, in my opinion, would be somewhere in the 6-year/$52 million range. It rewards Dansby for his production when healthy & locks him up until he’s 32 years old. It would be a more expensive deal for the Braves if Swanson had been more consistent up to this point and produced during that time as well. But this deal shows him we have faith in him moving forward, we appreciate what he’s done for us to this point, & allows us to keep a good chunk of change to throw at upcoming free agents.
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