Cardinals: Signing this player would be a huge mistake for St. Louis

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 14: Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves warms up on deck against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning in game three of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 14, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 14: Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves warms up on deck against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning in game three of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 14, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Braves Dansby Swanson
Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after striking out against the Philadelphia Phillies. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images) /

Dansby Swanson is an overrated hitter

Swanson got off to a hot start to the 2022 season, slashing .294/.353/.481 with 15 HR and 53 RBI in his first 94 games with the Braves, leading to an All-Star appearance and his name being mentioned with the top shortstops available in the offseason. The problem is he regressed back into the same hitter he’s been his entire career in the second half.

In his final 68 games, Swanson was a .254/.298/.404 hitter with 10 HR and 43 RBI despite a great BAbip. For context, Swanson finished with an OPS+ of 115 on the season, just 7 points higher than current Cardinals shortstop Tommy Edman. Part of the appeal of Swanson is pairing a great bat with an elite glove, but Edman is a better defender and arguably not far off from the hitter Swanson is.

For all of the playoff experience Swanson has, in 37 games he has slashed just .248/.297/.423 with 4 HR and 15 RBI. Not bad, but not the kind of bat St. Louis needs.

For his career, Swanson has just a .738 OPS and has never posted an above .800 OPS in a full major league season. If the Cardinals are going to go out and spend money on a big time bat, it needs to be either a major upgrade at that position, and Swanson just does not provide that.

Does that make Swanson a bad player? By no means. Swanson is a good shortstop and hitter, but for the price point he is going to command on the open market, this is not worth it for St. Louis.

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