Help us, Dansby-Swan Kenobi, you’re our only hope. The top three shortstops are now locked up for a combined $930 million over 35 years, leaving Swanson as the Cubs’ best shot to make a big upgrade with a free agent position player. Carlos Rodón is still out there on the pitching side, but he seems to have been out of the question since before it was reported he was seeking seven years.
This may have been the plan all along, and not just in terms of the Cubs looking to avoid a monster contract. Based on what Jesse Rogers told ESPN 1000’s Kap & J. Hood Wednesday morning, the former Braves shortstop has been doing his due diligence on potential landing spots.
“Here’s a previously unaired quote by Dansby Swanson I got on the day the Braves were eliminated,” Rogers said. “‘Because of the nature of our situation, we’ve had to look at every possible scenario.’ This is Swanson talking about him and his then-fiancée, now wife. ‘There are obviously places that have soccer teams as well as professional baseball teams.'”
Swanson just got married to Mallory Pugh, a forward for the Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL, so it certainly makes sense for them to want to be in the same city. That might not be as important if their sports had different seasons, but having nearly the same schedule puts a much greater emphasis on location.
While there are several cities that play home to both MLB and NWSL teams, Chicago has a leg up because Pugh is already playing there.
“[The Cubs] played well in the second half, they showed life at times,” Swanson told Rogers. “For any team that’s going through a type of rebuild, it’s important to play well because to want to build confidence for the people there. You want to set a standard for a winning culture. I feel like they did that, especially down the stretch.”
That’s a slightly different response than Carlos Correa saying he “didn’t want to be part of no rebuilding” last summer, though Swanson probably recognized the need for diplomacy. Mutual attraction or no, the Cubs probably aren’t going to get away with a club-friendly offer if the frenzied market pushes another team to make a splash.
Something should be getting done pretty soon here and it’ll be really interesting to see how it all plays out if the Cubs aren’t able to land Swanson.