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#pounditWednesday, October 5, 2022

Braves looking to sign another key player to contract extension

Nov 2, 2021; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (7) reacts after turning a double play against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in game six of the 2021 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves are reportedly attempting to lock up shortstop Dansby Swanson before he hits free agency after this season.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported on Thursday that the Braves “have opened extension talks” with Swanson.

Heyman also said that Swanson might need to take a hometown discount to stay, and provided an early guess that the offer from Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos could be in the six-year, $120 million range.

Extending a current player before free agency is nothing new for Anthopoulos. Earlier in August, Atlanta signed third baseman Austin Riley to a 10-year, $212 million contract with three years to go before he hit free agency. In 2019, both Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies signed multi-year extensions. On Tuesday, the Braves signed their star rookie outfielder to an eight-year deal.

If Swanson and the Braves cannot figure out a new contract prior to the end of the season or during free agency, Atlanta could pivot to other free-agent-to-be shortstops. The class will be headlined by Trea Turner, and could also include potential opt-outs in Xander Bogaerts and Carlos Correa.

Entering Thursday, Swanson had played in an MLB-leading 119 games this season. The first-time All-Star in 2022 was hitting .292 with 16 home runs and 65 RBI, and already had a career-high in stolen bases (15).

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