Cubs' Updated Lineup, Payroll After Reported Dansby Swanson $177M contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 17, 2022

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)
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs have themselves a new shortstop.

The team reportedly signed free agent Dansby Swanson to a seven-year, $177 million deal Saturday, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan and Bally Sports' Russell Dorsey.

Before the move, the Cubs had a projected tax payroll of $176.7 million, per Spotrac. Assuming an average annual value of $25.3 million on Swanson's contract, his signing should move that figure to an estimated $202 million.

It also will lock down the shortstop position for the foreseeable future and bolster the Cubs lineup. Here's a look at what that unit might look like in 2023:

  1. Dansby Swanson, SS
  2. Seiya Suzuki, RF
  3. Cody Bellinger, CF
  4. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
  5. Nico Hoerner, 2B
  6. Ian Happ, LF
  7. Matt Mervis, 1B
  8. Christopher Morel, DH
  9. Yan Gomes, C

The additions of Bellinger and Swanson are huge for a Cubs team that lacked pop in 2022, finishing 17th in baseball in homers (159), 22nd in runs (657) and 19th in team batting average (.238).

That duo combined to hit 44 homers and added 164 RBI last season alone. Swanson has posted consecutive seasons with 25 or more homers, while Bellingerβ€”the 2019 NL MVP and 2017 NL Rookie of the Yearβ€”has hit 25 or more homers three times in his career, though his power has diminished in recent seasons.

Perhaps a change in scenery will do him good. If it does, a Cubs lineup that was a question mark heading into the winter will look a whole lot better. At the very least, the excellent defense of Swanson is going to make the Cubs extremely steady up the middle.

In other words, Chicago got better Saturday.