The Blue Jays and newly acquired third baseman Matt Chapman avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $25MM contract, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. The deal will buy out Chapman’s final two arbitration seasons but does not extend Toronto’s club control over the two-time Platinum Glover. Chapman, a client of the Boras Corporation, will receive a $1MM signing bonus and consecutive salaries of $12MM on the deal, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected Chapman to earn $9.5MM this coming season, and he would’ve earned one more raise in 2023 before reaching free agency in the 2023-24 offseason. Taking into account that $9.5MM projection, Chapman’s $25MM guarantee effectively puts a $14.5MM price on that third-time arbitration salary, which seems well within the realm of plausible outcomes.
The new contract doesn’t change much in terms of Chapman’s outlook, though it gives him some financial security in the event of a major injury or further downturn at the plate. The Jays, meanwhile, get some payroll certainty not only for this season but also in 2023 — and they also avoid a need to dedicate any time or resources to arbitration talks with Chapman next winter.
Acquired last week in a trade that sent prospects Gunnar Hoglund, Kevin Smith, Zach Logue and Kirby Snead to Oakland, Chapman heads to Toronto in search of a return to his 2018-19 MVP-caliber form at the plate. A hip injury in 2020 cut the season short for Chapman and ultimately required surgery. He returned to play a mostly full slate of 151 games in 2021, but while Chapman belted 27 home runs and played his usual brand of premium defense at the hot corner, his overall production at the plate dropped as his strikeout rate rose. It’s certainly possible that the 2019 All-Star simply wasn’t at 100% last season, and he’ll now set out to prove that was the case without needing to spend much time dwelling on his contractual status.
Chapman’s new $12MM salary bumps the Blue Jays’ projected payroll up to about $170MM, per Roster Resource’s Jason Martinez, and it gives them about $190MM worth of luxury-tax obligations. That’ll establish a new franchise-record mark in terms of actual payroll, though the Jays are still about $40MM shy of the new $230MM luxury-tax threshold.
Do people not understand that’s it’s just avoiding arbitration for the next 2 years? It’s not an actual ‘extension’.
If he gets 10 mil year 1 and 15 year 2, that would be pretty much in line with what his arb numbers would have been.
You can’t even troll well.
Its not. But i’m not going to explain how the arb process works.
Oh, the irony.
You’ll have to excuse Yanks2. He’s grumpy since his team is paying Donaldson 52 million at age 36 and 37.
Lol. Two words: Giancarlo Stanton.
Well, Chapman was not going to get that money in Oakland anyway so good for him…
Leave it to a Yanks fan to come to a Jays thread and display his ignorance of the Arb process and raise in salaries year over year. It also will not hurt the goodwill if they decided to extend him into several of his FA years next year .
Sounds like sour grapes because you know your team will be battling for 3rd and 4th. ( Aging and injury prone )
I am watching spring games: Chapman is cutting off balls to shortstop. This guy is over his hip problems and will earn 7 WAR in 2022.
Defensive WAR is a joke. Chapman may only be a slight upgrade in the field over Espinal for those who actually watch the games.
So eye test over analytics? No. It’s the eye test that’s faulty. Defensive metrics are much more accurate for telling who is good. The eye test would say Jeter was a good fielder. Analytical inspection shows otherwise.
Defensive metrics have to be taken with a huge grain of salt. There are plenty of players every year that rate as a good defensive player using one group’s “analytics” and somehow the same player rates subpar with other analytics. Anyone who thinks defensive measurements are some end all be all needs to seriously wake up.
Didnt the Yanks just give up Sanchez and Urshela for a Overpaid and Oft injured Donaldson?
Yea it is… just guaranteeing a raise even if his hitting continues to spiral or he gets seriously injured, while receiving nothing in return from him. The A’s always talked about the importance of cost certainty but I never really understood these short term arbitration buy outs, all risk no reward.
You’re other option would be one year deal. Arb players are basically guaranteed raises. So if you has a poor 2022 he would still get a decent raise next year. You could just cut him if he has a poor year. If he duplicated the 2019 season he would get a huge boost in Arbitration. So it’s a very fair deal unless you think he’ll be awful and broken in 2023
This seems like an underpay
Well shortened season he struggled towards end , injured then surgery. And last year hit over .200 with over 200 strikeouts. Imo A’s should’ve kept him till at least midseason
This seems like an ok pay
This seems like a pay.
This seems like cost certainty.
Its basically what he would get in arbitration. So good for both the player and the team
He most likely would have cleared somewhere between $20 million and $25 million thru 2 rounds of arbitration. Worst case they overpay by a few million but now have cost certainty and possibly a little goodwill since sometimes arbitration can cause ill feelings among all parties involved. This is nothing more than a good business sense type move.
Boras rarely ever lets a player give up their free agent years without a big pay out in those years.
Which is something Boras probably negotiated before they accepted this deal. The Jays want to commit to Chapman long-term.
Chapman might be the bridge to Martinez or Groshans. There’s really no indication that Jays/Chapman are interested in an extension
Frankly I hope they don’t extend him. Chapman will command a long term contract, and you don’t want big money on a great defensive player through his 30s when his reaction times will be slowing. Two years of him is well worth the package they traded, and their best prospects play his position so he’s a perfect bridge to them.
It’s a big risk and an overpay for the club. If he’s not injured the money is prob real close to on. But, if he blows out an elbow or knee, he still is getting paid instead of getting cut w no yrs left on his deal. Club should have at least got an additional option yr. No upside
No one is going to cut a talented Chapman with those types of injuries and the scenario would give the Jays leverage and opportunity to lock up him cheaply for his FA years.
How does that give them leverage? He’s still gonna be a free agent at the same time.
But that’s true of all guaranteed contracts, which is why I kept saying during the lockout that it’s the owners that take on all of the risk. I’m not silly enough to think that’s ever going to change – heck, even the NFL is starting to get fully guaranteed contracts ( hello Cleveland). But it is what it is.
So should all teams just stop signing everyone then? All contracts come with the risk of injury or ineffectiveness.
No, because not all contracts have the non-guaranteed option this one did.
If Chapman is healthy and back at MVP contender level, he could’ve easily topped $20M in arbitration next year (after $10M this year). The upside is saving $5M+ in that scenario, which I believe the team considers the most likely scenario.
Great deal for both. Avoiding Arb 2 & 3 is wise for both team and player.
geez- its his 2 arb years – last year was a down year and he was worth 3.5 WAR- that’s market value of 21million
so if he repeats that over the next two years – that’s $42 million of WAR for $25 million that seems like a value
He’s not on the open market though. This is about in line with what he would get through arbitration.
It’s not 42 million dollars worth of WAR no matter what that dumb stat says. You cannot build a team overvaluing stuff like that. If, according to that stat, teams paid all their vets proper “value” the average payroll of even a mediocre team would blow past 300 million quick. It’s a dumb, loaded stat that everyone quotes without thinking. I know Fangraphs promotes it but they are capable of being wrong (or biased) at times. Can’t run a team based on a stat that’s entire purpose is to overvalue players and justify bad contracts.
The stat is fine, it’s calculated based on WAR provided vs dollars spent on free agents. The problem is low IQ people that misuse it
Random, you are probably exactly right about that. Usually that’s how it goes. Unfortunately most of what I know about the stat comes from witnessing people misuse it. Perhaps in the right context it actually makes sense.
A truly stunning and unprecedented move
I am surprised Boras signed off on this deal. Considering that Chapman is going to be paying taxes in two countries this is not a very good deal for him.
You often get credit in your home state for taxes paid to other states. I’m not sure, but I’d imagine there’s something similar for living in the US and getting paid in Canada. Otherwise, how would the Jays sign any Americans?
He won’t be paying taxes in 2 provinces/states. BB players pay taxes in the state the games are played thus 81 will be paid in Ontario and the other 81 in the various states they play. BTW the Max federal rate in US is 3% higher then in Canada and the Top Cali/Ontario rates are similar so Chapman will actually save about 180k playing in Toronto over Oakland.
Smart move by Toronto. Keep their new shiny toy focused on baseball and not contract issues.
Bingo ,plays well , next contract will be an extension Ala Berrios
Doubt they extend him. He’s a good bridge to Martinez/Groshans. They’ll need to sprinkle some cheap players like them into their lineup in the coming years to offset the rest of the roster getting more expensive in addition to the big contracts that will still be on the books in 2024 and beyond.
If his hip is finally healthy he could have a huge bounce back year. Especially in that ballpark and division. Good deal to lock him up through next year.
It’s Luca Brasi. He doesn’t pay taxes.
Makes zero sense… nothing for the team, and a substantial raise for the player.
Nothing for the team? It’s actually right in line with what he would have received in arb 2 and 3. What this does more than anything is that it does not aliniate the player the arb process. Smart move.
If he returns to his peak output levels, he could have gotten quite a bit more in year 2 thru arb. This locks him in with no raise in year 2.
Right, if he returns to his peak the Jays actually save money. If he stinks they end up maybe paying slightly more than they would have.
Jays players know if they want to stay they’ll get paid. That’s a good thing in the clubhouse.
Seems like an unnecessary task for them. Chapman would have to play out of his mind for this to make sense
no. he was projected to earn 9.5M this year (3M ish raise). Similar productions would have put him in the 3-5M raise. Better production higher raise. So little risk on either side just good business to develop a healthy relationship between the player and the team
Every rose has its thorn,
Just like every perro has his donde.
Just want to use this opportunity to say FU to A’s owner John Fisher
I was an Expos fan before they move. I totally get where you are coming from.
I have nothing but love for you buddy
Zachary D Manprin
It’s less than what the A’s offered him per year…of course the A’s also offered him an additional 8 years.
No Arb headaches and cost certainty.
Platinum glove 3rd baseman with 35 homer power in his two prime age years.
Last year he gutted it out on one good leg now he is fully healthy.
The jays are going to be scary good.
How are people so confused by this deal? It doesn’t impact his free agency and he would have almost assuredly received this in arbitration.
It seems like a lot for that 2nd year. It’s actually $15.5 million and not $14.5 million. Would he have really gone from $9.5M arbitration projection this year to $15.5M next year? And then if he gets completely injured, the option on non-tendering doesn’t exist. This deal looks really crappy for the Blue Jays.
Thank you for mentioning the $ 15,5m for the last year! I went nuts thinking about how there is another number given.
Toronto gets cost certainty, perhaps a minor discount and spreads out the CBT amount evenly. Chapman secured his 2023 paycheck already.
Mookie Betts got $27M for his last year of arbitration. Chapman wouldn’t get that, but if he has the kind of season he’s capable of he’ll be worth a lot.
Yes but he also had a salary of $20M the year before. The salary the year before acts as a certain anchor. Not to mention Chapman is nowhere near the level of player that Betts was so it’s apples and oranges.
bad deal for the Jays….they take all the risk….they could have offered 10 million or 10.5 , what is he going to do…Go to arbitration ?
It seems the majority of MLBTR commenters don’t know how arbitration works.
All true, but I still don’t see the upside. The writers could’ve explained it, but they didn’t. Basically, how much of a raise would he be getting in 2023 if he had, say a 4 WAR season. If it $14.5M, then this looks like a risk for TO, since they have no upside.
OTOH, if a 4.0 WAR gets him to $20M in 2023, then this is probably a good risk.
Past that, I don’t know why anyone bothers arguing the number, without the context.
We’re talking about a guy who put up 7.6 and 7.7 WAR in his two full healthy seasons (came up midway in ’17, ’20 was short, ’21 was hurt). If they’re paying him like he’d be paid for 4 WAR, that sounds like quite a bargain.
1. Tax credit is covered by tax agreement between USA and Canada – a non issue
2. Every time a longer term contract you take a risk for an injury.
For #2, you can always non-tender the player if there is not contract. So if he breaks a leg late in the year, you can just release him and save $15.5M or so.
Blown away by how many people don’t understand this deal…. Yet are still confident enough in their knowledge to criticize it.
Chapman might not have quite gotten $15.5M in arbitration next year… but barring a season lost to injury it’s likely he would have. Arbitration really rewards HRs and RBIs. Even in a down year Chapman hit a lot of HRs and should rack up RBIs in this lineup.
Small benefit to the Jays is Chapman will count $12.5 this year against the luxury tax instead of $9.5. Frees up a few million next year as Bichette and Romano reach arbitration.
I basically said the same thing. But you threw in the cap issue. Nicely done!
Your last point is a pretty small benefit, but it’s worth noting that ’23 is when none of the bigger contracts are off the books and a lot of raises. Moving money out of that season’s payroll is a good idea. I’ve often wondered why it’s not more common for teams to level arbitration salaries with multi year contracts. Maybe the certainty you give to the player can also get you a club option. Like Max Muncy’s deal.
That’s it. Not a huge benefit… but next year is when the Jays are going to be in trouble with the tax.
The only player going to free agency next year is Stripling. His salary of ~$4.5M isn’t going to free up much payroll.
After 2023 they have Ryu, Grichuk, Teoscar and Chapman all free agents which frees up about $53 in payroll. Also Springers salary drops $7M so roughly $60M in room from where they are now.
Anything they can clear off the books next year helps. I would imagine they still want to add to this team next offseason.
They have more then that coming off after 23. Gurriel Jr, Garcia also come to mind.
what are “luxury tax obligations” of which the Jays are deemed to have $190MM of?
Player benefits count against the luxury tax but aren’t considered salary. In the Jays case it’s about $20M this year.
Jays are going to go win it all in 22’ AND 23’….back to back. Heard it here first.
The deal is fine, I just don’t get all of the positive feedback for the player. Of course he’s a very good defender but his hitting has not matched his glove of late. To me, the Jays traded away some prospects for a .225 hitter who will strike out 200 times. I’m sure you can hide those numbers in the lineup but it’s still not great and maybe only boarder-line good.
The floor is what you mention the upside is a Top 10 MVP candidate. Will hinge on how much his hip influenced his poor year last year.
What’s there to hide? He’s an important part of their lineup. He had a 100 OPS+ last year in a down year with a career 120. Let’s focus on the Ks and ignore his above average BB% and power.
You try hitting after hip surgery. If he hadn’t been hurt, I’d be more concerned.
2 years ago all the “Shatkins” haters were on here ranting on a daily basis. Where are they now. Where is the guy who hated the Semien / Ray signings and thought they should have signed Bauer.
WildBillTetley/WereAllJustGuests where are you now.
They prob changed their usernames and are still posting
Pretty sure those 2 were the same guy, he seemed to have a habit of changing his name each off season when it was shown how wrong most of his takes were.
Chapman celebrates by getting spiked at third and removed from game. Ouch!
Would this benefit the Jays by lowering next years payroll? They appear to be front loading alot of contracts maybe to keep room to offer extensions for Vladdy, Bo, Teo etc??
So his arbitration years were brought out for around the amount he would have gotten in arbitration and people are saying this is a overpay why exactly ?
Because he can’t be released now without paying the full contract. If he sucks this year or gets a serious injury, you could have saved Year 2’s salary but now you’re on the hook. That’s why these deals usually come with an option for at least one free agent year. It would make sense if it included a $18-20M team option for Year 3.
No player in Chapman’s position gives away that free agent year on a team option. Maybe a mutual option. But a team option guarantees that if he’s worth more than that amount when that option comes up the team gets a deal (and he gets underpaid compared to market value), and if he’s worth less, he’s cut free. There is zero in it for the player in that scenario.
Exactly my point. Why would the Blue Jays put up for that 2nd year and do away with their option of non-tendering him, if need be, and save $15M or so without getting anything in return?
And mutual options aren’t options at all so let’s not go mentioning them.
Dude is gonna bounce back this year and be a monster. He’s gonna get paid big-time as a free agent in two years.
He might. But that will be dumb for whomever signs him to that mega-deal. He’ll be 31, basically the age where players (yes, even most all stars) begin steady and often steep decline. I don’t doubt he’ll get it, but it’ll be a terrible contract for the team.
This assumes he’ll be better than a career .243/.330/.478 slash line. I’m also not sure that’s relates to a “big-time” payout in the future.