Last year's star-studded free-agent shortstop class is followed by another one, possibly even better than the previous.

This one includes four of the top-10 players in fWAR among shortstops, including Dansby Swanson, who ranked second (6.4).

Swanson is one of the best defensive shortstops in the game, ranking second in defensive runs above average. Atlanta is the favorite to re-sign Swanson, a hometown product who helped win a World Series there in 2021.

But there are plenty of suitors for Swanson, who could be a priority for some teams and a backup plan for others prioritizing the likes of Trea Turner, Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts.

Let's take a look at the top 10 landing spots for Swanson, considering team needs, willingness to spend and reported interest linking him to different squads.

 

Miami Marlins

The Marlins are among the teams in need of an improvement at shortstop after being in baseball's bottom third in key offensive categories.

They were 24th in wRC+ and 26th in both OPS and wOBA from the shortstop position last season, according to FanGraphs.

Signing the player who finished second among shortstops in WAR—only behind Francisco Lindor—sixth in wOBA and seventh in wRC+ would be an obvious upgrade for Miami.

It was a bit surprising to see MLB.com's Mark Feinsand include the Marlins as a potential suitor for Swanson. But Feinsand noted Miguel Rojas, who played the vast majority of shortstop for Miami last year, only has one year and $5 million left on his contract.

Competition in the NL East, with two 100+ win teams and another who just went to the World Series, is not getting easier. The Marlins need more moves like this to compete.

 

St. Louis Cardinals

While Tommy Edman had a breakout season for the Cardinals at shortstop, they would likely prefer to move him back to his natural position at second base. They could upgrade at shortstop with Swanson and pair him with Edman for possibly the best defensive middle infield in baseball.

Considering their corner infielders are Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, it might be the best infield in baseball, period.

Last offseason, the Cardinals sat out a loaded free-agent shortstop class with the expectation Paul DeJong would bounce back from a disappointing 2021. Instead, he recorded the worst season of his career (.530 OPS).

In September, MLB insider Jon Heyman of the New York Post mentioned the Cardinals as among the teams in pursuit of a big free-agent shortstop.

There has been little to no chatter about Swanson to the Cardinals, beyond the obvious fit. But the potential alone, especially given the Cardinals' World Series aspirations, is worth consideration.

It's also worth noting the largest free agent contract St. Louis ever gave was to Matt Holiday for seven years, $120 million in 2010. Swanson projects to make in the six-year, $150 million range.