What Was the Trade for Dansby Swanson?

Frank Jones

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What Was the Trade for Dansby Swanson

Dansby Swanson is a name that baseball fans may recognize as one of the rising stars in the sport. He currently plays shortstop for the Atlanta Braves and has established himself as a key player for the team in recent years.

But how did Swanson end up with the Braves? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the trade that brought him to Atlanta and examine the impact it had on both teams involved.

We’ll explore the details of the trade, the expectations for the players involved, and how the trade has affected the Braves and the Arizona Diamondbacks since it was made in 2015.

The Trade

The Trade Between the Diamondbacks and the Braves

On December 9, 2015, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves made a significant trade that would impact both teams in the years to come.

The Diamondbacks sent pitcher Shelby Miller and minor league pitcher Gabe Speier to the Braves in exchange for outfielder Ender Inciarte, pitcher Aaron Blair, and top prospect Dansby Swanson.

The Players Involved in the Trade

Shelby Miller – Miller was a starting pitcher who had just completed his first season with the Diamondbacks after being traded from the Atlanta Braves. He was expected to be a key part of the Diamondbacks’ rotation.

Gabe Speier – Speier was a minor league pitcher who had yet to make his major league debut.

Ender Inciarte – Inciarte was an outfielder who had played in 118 games for the Braves in 2015, batting .303 with 4 home runs and 45 RBIs.

Aaron Blair – Blair was a highly-regarded pitching prospect in the Braves’ organization who had yet to make his major league debut.

Dansby Swanson – Swanson was the centerpiece of the trade for the Braves. He had been the first overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft and was widely considered one of the top prospects in baseball. At the time of the trade, he had yet to make his major league debut.

The Trade at the Time

  • Expectations for each player involved: At the time of the trade, the Diamondbacks were hoping to add an ace to their starting rotation in Miller, while the Braves were looking to acquire young talent to help with their rebuilding process. Swanson was seen as the key piece in the trade for the Braves, with many analysts predicting that he would become a star in the major leagues.

  • Reactions from fans and analysts: The trade was met with mixed reactions from fans and analysts. Some praised the Diamondbacks for acquiring Miller, while others questioned the cost of giving up Swanson and Inciarte. On the other hand, many Braves fans were excited about the addition of Swanson and the potential he brought to the team. Overall, the trade was seen as a bold move for both teams, with the potential for significant impact in the years to come.

Impact on the Atlanta Braves

Swanson’s Performance Since Joining the Team

Since joining the Braves, Swanson has become a key player for the team, solidifying his role as the starting shortstop. He made his major league debut in August 2016 and quickly impressed with his defense and solid hitting.

In 2018, he had a breakout season, batting .238 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs, and helping the Braves win the NL East division title. He has continued to improve in the years since, becoming one of the team’s most reliable players.

Contributions From Inciarte and Blair

Inciarte has been a valuable outfielder for the Braves since the trade, winning three Gold Glove awards for his defensive prowess.

He has also been a consistent hitter, with a batting average of .283 and an on-base percentage of .341 during his time with the Braves. Blair, on the other hand, struggled to find success in the major leagues and was eventually traded to the Texas Rangers in 2019.

How the Trade Impacted the Braves’ Rebuilding Process

The trade for Swanson, along with other acquisitions like pitcher Mike Foltynewicz and outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., was part of the Braves’ rebuilding process that has seen the team transform into a contender in the National League.

Swanson has been a key piece in the team’s success, providing solid defense and timely hitting. The trade also allowed the team to acquire Inciarte, who has become one of the best defensive outfielders in the game.

Overall, the trade has had a positive impact on the Braves’ rebuilding process, helping to establish a solid core of young talent that has propelled the team to success in recent years.

Impact on the Arizona Diamondbacks

Miller’s Performance After the Trade

Unfortunately, Miller did not perform up to expectations after the trade to the Diamondbacks. In his lone season with the team in 2016, he struggled with a 3-12 record and a 6.15 ERA in 20 starts. He also missed significant time due to injury.

The following season, he underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire year. He returned to the Diamondbacks in 2018, but again struggled with a 0-4 record and a 10.69 ERA in 5 starts. He was eventually traded to the Texas Rangers in 2019 and has since bounced around the league.

Speier’s Minor League Career

Speier has yet to make his major league debut and has spent most of his minor league career in the lower levels of the Diamondbacks’ system. He has struggled with injuries and inconsistent performance, and it is uncertain whether he will ever make it to the big leagues.

What the Diamondbacks Gained and Lost in the Trade

The Diamondbacks gained a potential ace in Miller, who had performed well for the Braves in the previous season. However, Miller’s struggles and injuries meant that the Diamondbacks did not get the return they were hoping for.

They also gave up Inciarte, who has become one of the best defensive outfielders in the game, and Swanson, who has developed into a solid starting shortstop for the Braves.

While Blair did not pan out for the Braves, the loss of Swanson and Inciarte was a significant blow for the Diamondbacks, who were hoping to compete in the tough NL West division.

Overall, the trade did not have the positive impact that the Diamondbacks were hoping for, and they ended up losing valuable young talent in the process.

The Players Involved in the Dansby Swanson Trade

TeamPlayers TradedPositionNotable Achievements
DiamondbacksShelby MillerPitcher10-15 record, 6.15 ERA in 3 seasons with team
DiamondbacksGabe SpeierPitcherHas not made MLB debut
BravesEnder InciarteOutfielderGold Glove winner, 2-time stolen base leader
BravesAaron BlairPitcher2-7 record, 7.59 ERA in 2 seasons with team
BravesDansby SwansonShortstopAll-Star, World Series champion, NLCS MVP

This table provides a quick reference for the players involved in the trade, their positions, and some notable achievements during their careers with their respective teams.


Did the Braves expect Swanson to develop into a star player when they acquired him in the trade?

While the Braves were certainly high on Swanson’s potential when they made the trade, it’s unlikely they could have predicted just how good he would become. Swanson has developed into a solid starting shortstop, making an All-Star appearance in 2021 and contributing to the Braves’ World Series championship that same year.

What impact did the trade have on the Braves’ rebuilding process?

The trade was a significant step in the Braves’ rebuilding process, as it helped them acquire young talent and shed some of their older, more expensive players. Swanson, Inciarte, and Blair all played important roles in the team’s success in recent years, and the trade helped set the stage for the team’s World Series win in 2021.

Why did the Diamondbacks make the trade in the first place?

The Diamondbacks were hoping to acquire a top-of-the-rotation starter in Miller, who had been impressive for the Braves in the previous season. They also saw an opportunity to add some young talent to their roster in Swanson, Inciarte, and Blair. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, Miller’s struggles and injuries meant that the trade did not work out as they hoped.

Could the Diamondbacks have made a better trade for Miller?

In hindsight, it’s easy to criticize the Diamondbacks for the trade, given how poorly Miller performed for them. However, at the time, Miller was coming off a strong season and was widely viewed as a potential ace. The Diamondbacks may have overpaid for him, but it’s unclear what other trade options were available to them at the time.


The trade that sent Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte, and Aaron Blair from the Diamondbacks to the Braves in exchange for Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier had a significant impact on both teams.

For the Braves, the trade helped solidify their rebuilding process by acquiring young talent that has since become key players for the team. Swanson has been a standout performer, while Inciarte has been a reliable outfielder and Blair was a valuable piece in the trade.

For the Diamondbacks, the trade did not work out as they hoped, with Miller struggling and Speier yet to make his major league debut.

They also lost valuable young talent in Swanson and Inciarte. Overall, the trade is a reminder of the risks and rewards involved in player acquisitions, and how they can impact a team’s fortunes for years to come.

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