It could be a period of waiting. Or maybe the sides come together to strike a deal.
We know this: The Braves are serious about re-signing Swanson, who seems like he wants to stay. Both sides have incentive to continue their partnership if the price works for both.
Why wouldn’t the Braves want Swanson? He might be the best defensive shortstop in baseball, and he’s the captain of their clubhouse? And why wouldn’t Swanson want to return? Anthopoulos has set up the Braves for sustained success, and staying in Atlanta probably gives Swanson a better situation than many other teams can provide him.
The Braves discussed a contract extension with Swanson’s camp during the second half of the season. Publicly, president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos has praised Swanson – for his leadership and his on-field performance. On the record, Swanson also has expressed his desire to continue wearing the Braves uniform.
All signs point to both sides having interest in continuing the relationship. Of course, anything can occur in free agency, and Swanson has earned the right to test the open market. He’s a terrific ballplayer who’ll surely have suitors.
Trea Turner, Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts are viewed as the top three shortstops on the market this winter. All probably will cost more than Swanson.
Swanson rejecting the qualifying offer was expected. He can earn a better deal by diving into free agency – and that contract could come from the Braves.
Tuesday’s news doesn’t change much. The waiting continues.
Braves protect players from Rule 5 draft
Tuesday also marked the deadline for a club to add players to its 40-man roster to protect those players from the Rule 5 draft.
The Braves on Tuesday selected right-hander Roddery Muñoz, infielder Braden Shewmake and right-hander Darius Vines to their major-league roster. They designated fan-favorite Guillermo Heredia for assignment, and did the same to right-handers William Woods and Silvino Bracho.
Shewmake, a shortstop, spent 2022 at Triple-A Gwinnett. He’s the organization’s No. 5 prospect, per MLB Pipeline.
Muñoz was at High-A Rome before the Braves promoted him to Double-A Mississippi and posted a 4.66 ERA over 22 starts at those levels.
Across Double-A and Triple-A in 2022, Vines recorded a 3.77 ERA over 27 games – 25 of them starts.
Players signed at age 18 or younger must be added to the 40-man roster within five seasons or they become exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. Those who signed at age 19 or older need to be protected within four seasons.
This year’s Rule 5 Draft will be held Dec. 7 at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.