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Dansby Swanson ‘made every effort’ to stay in Atlanta

Alex Anthopoulos discussed Swanson’s departure with The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz

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Chicago Cubs Introduce Dansby Swanson Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs officially announced the signing of Dansby Swanson to a seven-year, $177 million deal Wednesday bringing his tenure with the Atlanta Braves to an official end. It is the second offseason in a row where the Braves watched one of their key players walk away in free agency.

Alex Anthopoulos spoke candidly about Swanson and free agency with the Athletic’s Jeff Schultz Wednesday. The entire interview is well worth your time. Anthopoulos admitted that he spoke with Swanson multiple times during the offseason and that he was willing to leave a significant amount of money on the table to remain in Atlanta. However, the gap between what the Braves were offering and the offer that he accepted from the Cubs was just too wide.

Dansby tried hard and was willing to work with the team, but when you’re discussing six years, seven years and so on, you still have to plan out your roster, and you don’t want to have too much money planned out to a small group of players or that you have to trade players. Everything we do is through the lens of having as deep a 26- and 40-man roster as we can, and as these players get better, they become more expensive. But from his standpoint, he did everything he could. He was committed, sincere and was more than willing to take a lot less. It’s important that everyone is aware of that. But even then the gap was too great.

That is a much different situation than what happened with Freddie Freeman where there was virtually no contact between the player and the front office until it was too late.

When asked about the shortstop position for the upcoming season, Anthopoulos said that Orlando Arcia and Vaughn Grissom will compete and that Brian Snitker will make the call. He was also asked about the plan for Marcell Ozuna and replied that he expects Ozuna to be on the roster during Spring Training, but declined to commit past that.

It is important to also point out that Anthopoulos said at the Winter Meetings that he expected Travis d’Arnaud, William Contreras and Manny Pina to be on the roster during the spring and then pivoted a little over a week later and traded for catcher Sean Murphy. So, you can’t completely rule out another move, but it sounds like they are pretty content with what they have at the moment.

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