Giants sign Matt Chapman

Matt Chapman Heading back to the bay area. The four-time Gold Glove winner reportedly agreed to terms with the Giants on a three-year, $54MM guarantee. The Boras Corporation client may opt out after the next two seasons.

He will make $20MM this season, followed by $18MM and $16MM player options. The contract has an average annual value of $18MM for competitive parity tax purposes. San Francisco must replace the 40-man roster once the contract expires.

Chapman, 31, will be reunited next month with Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and manager Bob Melvin. He's familiar with both from their early days with the A's. Chapman was Oakland's first-round pick in 2014 and made his debut three years later. He stepped in as one of the best all-round players in the game.

The Cal State Fullerton product posted a .255/.336/.503 batting line over his first three-and-a-half seasons. He tied it with the best third base defense in the American League. Chapman finished in the top 10 in AL MVP voting in 2018 and '19, earning Gold Glove honors both years.

Chapman's 2020 season was cut short by a torn labrum in his right hip. He underwent surgery in September of that year. Although it was not clear at the time, the injury proved to be a turning point in his career. His offensive production hasn't been the same since his return.

The right-hander stumbled to a career-worst .210/.314/.403 line in 2021. The A's traded him to the Blue Jays the following season. Chapman's offensive production rose slightly in Toronto, but he hasn't found his 2018-19 form last April.

After a .229/.324/.433 showing in 2022, Chapman entered his breakout season and reestablished himself as a middle-of-the-order force. He started the year as the hottest hitter on the planet. Chapman was hitting at a .384/.465/.687 clip through the end of April. Although he dropped his strikeout rate to 22.8% in the first month of the season, his volume increased as the summer approached. A poor May marked a disappointing end to his Jays tenure.

In his last 467 plate appearances, Chapman hit .205/.298/.361 with a strikeout rate close to 30%. In the second half, he often hit third down the lineup. The Jays briefly sent him to the injured list in late August after spraining the middle finger on his right hand. This may have had an adverse effect on his offense, but the biggest concern is that he hasn't progressed at the contact rate he appeared to do early on.

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As he hits the open market for the first time, it presents a tough assessment for teams. Even though he's no longer an MVP-caliber player, Chapman is still an above-average regular. He has drawn walks in more than 10% of his plate appearances in each of the last three seasons. He combined for 27 homers in both 2021 and '22. That's down from 17 longballs a year ago, but that's not a reflection of a drop in his contact quality.

Chapman actually hit the ball harder than last season, averaging 93.5 MPH in exit velocity. He made hard contact on 56.4% of batted balls (defined as 95+ MPH). That's the highest rate of any qualified hitter in the majors, just ahead of impact bats like the former teammate. Matt Olson, Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna Jr, Raphael Devers And Shohei Ohtani.

He is an asset on the other side of the ball. Chapman's defensive grades aren't as eye-popping as they were early in his career, but he's still a plus at third base. Both Statcast and Defensive Run Save have rated him as an above-average defender in every season of his career. The statcast also includes three runs scored and a best +12 mark from DRS over 1200 innings last season.

Infield defense was an issue for the Giants, especially on the left side. San Francisco led the way for the long-term shortstop Brandon Crawford Walk in free company. They are looking to change that status to 22 Marco Luciano. Current third baseman JD Davies Last season received mixed reviews from defensive metrics. Chapman will no doubt improve on that side of the ball. Despite some speculation, the Giants may consider moving Chapman up the defensive spectrum as a shortstop, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports That he will stick to the hot corner at Oracle Park.

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San Francisco has targeted Chapman throughout the offseason and was linked to him in mid-November. They were content to wait it out on the market as one of the few top free agents who lasted well in spring training.

A $54MM guarantee certainly wasn't what his camp had in mind at the start of the offseason. Chapman reportedly turned down the A's 10-year, $150MM extension offer in 2019. And he reportedly received an offer from Toronto that could exceed $100MM at some point before he hits free agency. Whatever price he had set at the beginning of winter had not materialised. Like a fellow Boras Corporation customer Cody BellingerChapman returned to a short-term deal that gives him the option to return to the market next season instead.

He was one of seven players who received a qualifying offer in November and turned it down. QO will be worth $20.325MM next season, more than he is making now. This contract structure is certainly preferable to getting a chance to qualify — with added protection built in through player options if he struggles or suffers an injury — but the end result could be the same. A possible outcome is that he collects a $20MM salary in 2024 and revisits the market next winter.

Whether he will be treated more kindly next time remains to be seen. He will enter his age-32 season with a profile that leans heavily on defense. Chapman won't be eligible for another qualifying offer — players can't receive it more than once in their career, according to the CBA — but as he has been this winter, he's unlikely to be the clear-cut best free agent at that position. Alex Bregman Next year's third-base class headlines, which includes Davis.

The Giants are giving up $500K in international signing bonus space to add a player who declined QO in the upcoming draft (#51 overall). The Jays were one of eight teams that paid the luxury tax last season, so their compensation is low. They will receive an additional draft pick after the fourth round, approximately 136th overall.

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That's a bigger penalty for the Giants than compensation for Toronto. Still, the Giants are happy to get Chapman in the offseason for much less than they expected. (MLBTR predicts he'll receive a six-year, $150MM deal by early winter.) The deal pushes their 2024 player payroll to roughly $183MM. Roster Resource. They have about $231MM in luxury tax liabilities and will be $6MM shy ​​of next year's threshold.

If they choose to skip the CBT, that doesn't leave a ton of room for offseason acquisitions. For the first time since 2017, they may feel comfortable crossing the threshold. San Francisco is attached Blake Snell (and to a lesser extent) Jordan Montgomery. They still need rotation help, especially after the expected #5 starter Tristan Beck Surgery was performed on Friday to repair the aneurysm.

Losing a draft pick to sign Chapman to a deal that would allow him to opt out after one season was San Francisco's clear win-now move of the offseason. They have also brought Jung Hoo Lee To take center stage, George Soler Signed, at designated hitter Jordan Hicks For a four-year contract to switch to rotation. Then update the array to that extent without adding more commits Logan WebHicks and Rookie Kyle Harrison Seems unlikely.

Davis was slated for a $6.9MM salary in his final season and lost his spot in the starting lineup. Solar and Wilmer Flores Ahead of him are right-handed hitters who factor in at first base and DH, respectively. Flipping Davis to a team in need of third base help before Opening Day would reduce cap space for the Giants and seems like the best decision for him personally. Chances of coming to Oracle Park in the next three weeks are high.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post First reported the contract, departures and salary breakdown. Image courtesy of USA TODAY Sports.

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