The Philadelphia Phillies may not be the only National League team who signs an impact shortstop this offseason.
After Kiley McDaniel and Jeff Passan of ESPN reported the Phillies agreed to an 11-year, $300 million deal with a no-trade clause with Trea Turner, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the Cardinals are also involved in the shortstop market and are interested in Dansby Swanson.
Signing Swanson could help St. Louis in multiple ways, as Morosi suggested such a move could also help the front office use another position player to land a catcher in a trade. He mentioned Sean Murphy of the Oakland Athletics or Danny Jansen of the Toronto Blue Jays as possible targets.
With Yadier Molina retiring after the 2022 campaign, the National League Central team could use a backstop.
As for Swanson, he would bolster an already formidable infield that includes Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado.
The free-agent shortstop is in the middle of his prime at 28 years old and coming off a season that saw him earn his first Gold Glove and All-Star selection. He slashed .277/.329/.447 with 25 home runs, 96 RBI and 18 stolen bases all while playing excellent defense, underscoring his ability to impact the game in a number of ways.
He was also responsible for nine defensive runs saved above average, per FanGraphs.
It is a testament to the shortstop market this offseason that Swanson, who has played for the Atlanta Braves his entire career, is likely the fourth-best option in a free agency class that also features Carlos Correa, Turner and Xander Bogaerts.
Yet he is a difference-maker in the field and at the plate, which is surely what a Cardinals team looking to take the next step after three straight losses in the National League Wild Card round is pursuing this offseason.