Think you know which MLB teams got the most impact for their shortstop dollars in free agency last winter?
Of the four, Trea Turner officially got the most money ($300 million over 11 years from the Phillies), and Carlos Correa unofficially did (deals of $350 million and $315 million before failed physicals eventually led to a return to the Twins for $200 million).
But with two weeks left before the MLB season starts, it’s starting to become clear which teams got the most bang for those bucks — for their team’s biggest needs.
Even taking the financial comparison out of the evaluation, these are the teams that look like they got the most for their targeted shortstop this winter, pending actual games being played and assuming continued good health.
1. Chicago Cubs, Dansby Swanson
You can’t spell Dansby with a capital D. And nobody who spent big bucks on position players over the winter needed D more — or targeted it more. With a few exceptions last year, the Cubs’ fielding was subpar to say the least. It’s no coincidence that the Cubs added former Gold Glove winners Cody Bellinger, Eric Hosmer and Tucker Barnhart during the offseason despite each one looking for bounce-back offensive production.
But the Cubs’ fielding renaissance starts at shortstop with the 2022 Gold Glove winner who got $177 million for seven years. What puts Swanson over the top in this ranking (at least until the games start to count) is that he brings a competitive edge to the clubhouse with a ring to back it up, and — more tangibly — he actually turns two Cubs positions into Gold Glove-contender quality by joining the infield. That’s because he pushes 2022’s good-fielding shortstop, Nico Hoerner, back to second base — where Hoerner was a Gold Glove finalist in 2020.