Happy Thanksgiving to those of you on the other side of the border.
We have used this idea for the last couple of years. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, using the contract FanGraphs suggests and have a poll to see if we would sign him for that amount.
Dansby Swanson is number 8 on FanGraphs’ list and #3 on Keith Law’s list.
He had a very good season to go into free agency with, hitting .277/.329/.447,0 and he was good defensively. Outs Above Average had him at a +21, the best number for a shortstop by far. Second best was Francisco Lindor 13. He’s always been a good defensive SS, but this year might be a blip. Still he’ll be a good defensive SS for a few years.
He played in all 162 games and played 160 in 2021. He has been durable. And he set a career-high in stolen bases, with 18 (caught 7 times).
Dansby has been an average bat in his seven years in the MLB, but average bat with good defensive numbers at short gives you a valuable player. Baseball Reference has him at a 5.7 WAR this year. FanGraphs at 6.4. But those numbers were career highs.
Keith Law said:
Swanson’s walk year didn’t look like any season he’d had before, as he played elite defense at short for the first time ever, made more hard contact than ever, and posted the worst walk rate of his career. By OAA, Swanson was the second-most valuable fielder in all of baseball, preventing 20 outs and 15 runs above average, behind only Detroit second baseman Jonathan Schoop (a former shortstop), an incredible showing that was at least two grades better than Swanson’s previously established level.
Swanson put together his best season by a mile this year, combining his best league-adjusted batting line with a phenomenal defensive performance, at least according to Statcast. He compiled more Outs Above Average this year than in his entire previous career, going from plus defender to elite if you put a ton of stock in single-season defensive estimators. Even if you don’t – and I don’t, to be clear – it’s fair to say that Swanson combines solid hitting with solid fielding and will likely do so for years to come. Call him a sometime All-Star; I don’t think he’ll replicate 2022 every year, but he’s clearly capable of some great seasons.
Ben thinks he will get 6 years at $24 million a year for a total of $144 million. I don’t know, I don’t see him as a game-changer for any team. I think he would be a good player on a good team, but I don’t think ‘moves the needle’ all that much. But then the Jays don’t need someone to carry them to the playoffs.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I want him on the Jays just for his name. It would lend a little class to the organization.
Should the Jays sign Dansby Swanson if the price is $24 million a year for six years?
Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
Probably no, but I wouldn’t hate it
No, absolutely not