Is Dansby Swanson drifting further away from the Braves?

Remember when I wrote that maybe Dansby Swanson’s time in free agency would be very different from what happened with Freddie Freeman last year? Well, I’m starting to think there’s no “maybe” about it.

A month ago I thought Swanson would still be in Atlanta. And while that’s still a possibility, it no longer feels likely.

Upset about the lack of communication since the end of the season, Swanson called Braves president of basketball operations Alex Anthopoulos to find out how things were, surrounding a negotiation. But both sides have not had serious talks since then.

The Braves offered Swanson a six-year contract with an average annual value of $16 million to $17 million. Swanson may be finalizing a six- or seven-year contract worth an average of $22-25 million from other teams, especially after Trea Turner agreed to 11 years and $300 million ($27.3 million average) with the Phillies and Xander Bogaerts do the same with the parents for US$280 million and 11 seasons (average of US$25.5 million).

It’s always been assumed that for Swanson to return to the Braves, he would have to leave some money on the table. But if the difference is so big, then it should come as no surprise that the torpedo ends up with another set.

Who would replace Swanson in Atlanta? Trade options are limited, but Venezuelan free agent Elvis Andrus is an option — the shortstop was the Braves’ hottest prospect before Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman.

If the Braves agree to Andrus, then the offense would need to be increased with a big bat defending left field.

Sure, if Swanson returns to Atlanta, there would still be a lack of a left fielder. A reunion with Adam Duvall could work. A one-year deal with Michael Conforto would also be attractive.

The good news for the club is that the Braves face this dilemma without concern for exceeding the Competitive Luxury Tax.

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Is Dansby Swanson drifting further away from the Braves?