Dansby Swanson has gone above and beyond what Braves fans expected from him so far this season. There is a very real chance that if Swanson continues to play at this level, he could garner serious MVP considerations. That said, he could also be simultaneously playing himself out of a contract with his hometown team. Freddie Freeman's return to Atlanta this weekend as a member of the LA Dodgers is a sobering reminder of what the disagreement on a price tag can mean, even if it's for a centerpiece of the franchise.
The Midday Show broke down how it's great that he's been playing this well, but that's it's also very possible that he could be pricing himself out of Atlanta.
"Dansby Swanson is having - by far - the best season of his career and there's no question about that. There's a lot of reasons for it, one of them may very well be that it's a contract year," Bunker proclaimed. "Can Dansby be an All-Star? Seems like that's going to happen, but what's next? How close are we to discussing Dansby Swanson ads the MVP of the National League?
Swanson is certainly playing out of his mind. Despite a putrid start to the season, he has lifted his averages to .302/.368/.500 with an OPS of .868 and 12 home runs. Among shortstops, he is fourth in batting average, third in home runs and RBI, and second in OPS.
Sure, MVP may still be out of the question, but Swanson has certainly played himself into being one of the more important bats in the Braves' lineup to go along with his already dominant glove. Simply put, he has been fantastic for the Braves in 2022, but it raises a potential issue: Dansby Swanson is going to be owed a new contract at the conclusion of the league year and that price figure is growing by the day.
"The way that he's playing, he might have out-priced himself from the Braves," Randy said. "But if the Braves are smart, they would not let another pillar walk away."
The $20 million-plus average that he could command is not a sandbox that the Braves have played in, but that's about what the going rate is for a top-end shortstop. The Braves are not in a situation where they can afford to let Swanson walk away right now. They don't have that guy in the system to promote and it's not every day that you have a player in the free agency like the one you have in-house.
Swanson will be expensive, but can the Braves afford to let another pillar of the organization walk in free agency in consecutive years? Tough decisions lay ahead for the Braves.