Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman is entering his second and potentially final season in Toronto, as he looks set to hit free agency at season’s end. The 29-year-old addressed his long term future with the organization with Gregor Chisholm of the Toronto Star, saying he’s open to an extension but realistic about his future.
“I know the Blue Jays enjoy having me here and want to continue having me here,” Chapman said. “I know I want to continue to be here and be a part of this team. I’m sure conversations will be had along the way but, when I signed that two-year deal, I was anticipating they would have to pay Bo and Vladdy and all these young guys.”
With Manny Machado seemingly headed for the open market next winter, Chapman figures to be the second best third baseman available. Offensively he’s hit 27 home runs in each of the past two seasons, and has hit at least 24 in the last four 162-game seasons, while his glove has been worth 18 Outs Above Average over the past two seasons and 40 over his career. Another quality season should set Chapman up to do very well in free agency, whether that be for the Blue Jays or elsewhere.
Here’s some more bit and pieces from around the American League as full squad workouts begin:
- The White Sox made their signing of infielder Elvis Andrus official today, confirming the one-year, $3MM deal. General manager Rick Hahn addressed the signing with reporters (including Scott Merkin of MLB.com) in Arizona, confirming the expectation is that Andrus will be Chicago’s everyday second baseman. Leury Garcia, Romy Gonzalez, Yolbert Sanchez, Lenyn Sosa and non-roster invite Hanser Alberto were all the previous candidates to man second, but Andrus will bump some combination of those players into bench/utility roles. With Tim Anderson entrenched at shortstop, this will be the first time Andrus has logged time at another defensive position, as all of his career 16,606 innings in the field have come at short. There seems little doubt about Andrus’ ability to handle second of course, given his track record of quality glove work at the more demanding shortstop position.
- Speaking of free agency, Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the Orioles are still involved in the free agency market, and have their eyes on a few major league players. Jurickson Profar stands out as comfortably the highest-profile player remaining in a very thin free agent field. Profar does make some sense as an upgrade over Austin Hays in left field, although it’s also not an obvious fit. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic did report back in January that the Orioles were involved in Profar, although they didn’t appear particularly confident of getting a deal done. Outside of Profar, there’s no available free agent who’d drastically alter Baltimore’s payroll for the upcoming season, but it is worth noting here CEO John Angelos’ comments about the team’s payroll moving forward.
Profar isn’t an upgrade over a healthy Hays and with Cowser and Stowers at the MLB level or close, it doesn’t make much sense. Hays has a higher bWAR in 5 years than Profar does in 9 and Hays is a better defensive outfielder.
Hays was not a better defensive outfielder in 2022 according to Fangraphs. Incorrect.
Hays>Profar. Hays will have a bounce back year
Peter Angelos? He is currently ill. You mean his son John
Depending on the fit, Iglesias to me is the top remaining free agent. Why he gets so little love I’ll never understand.
Chapman replaces Machado in SD
I don’t understand why Iglesias is still unsigned, either. I remember him filling in at 2b for the Red Sox in 2021. He was a big reason why they reached the WC. I thought for sure they would re-sign him.
The problem is every year there seems to be more and more middle Infielders available in free agency with fewer jobs to fill. And quite a few teams went the trade route to fill openings which doesn’t help. At this point there aren’t even any “obvious fits” for Iglesias so he may have to wait and see if an injury occurs somewhere or if he’s willing to play in the minors if that’s what it takes to get signed
Iglesias is an obvious fit in Boston unless he’s unwilling to to play a bench role. Although Hernandez should be the starting CFer which would leave SS open for him. Either way he’s a way better option than bloom’s genius signing of Yu Chang…
Boegarts replaces Machado in SD. If not, they be stuck with his poor defense at SS.
I don’t watch enough of Chapman to know — might be a stupid/simple question but — what’s the deal with his drastically increased K-rate over the years. As a 26/27 year old he looked like an amazing offensive force then seemingly out of no where he started striking out 10% more of the time. His hard hit rates and EV are VERY impressive but he just seems to be striking out at absurd rates. It’d be one thing if he was always like that… but again in 2018 he struck out like 20/22% of the time and now it’s more than 1/3 if his ABs — a spike that big prior to turning 30 is not only alarming but also seems like maybe an eyesight issue or injury? Idk just seems oddly drastic and it’s not like he sold out for power — he actually hit more HR with lower K rate than he does now (especially on per AB basis)
Hip injury and subsequent surgery.
This plus the league wide obsession with launch angle which causes a hitter to swing under the ball, hence the rising K rates all over the league
I guess I misread stats a bit… he did somewhat reverse K rate spike last year. I had previously thought it was a straight line rise but seems to have gone from 33% to 27% which is at least better — still not getting anywhere near BA you’d expect based on his rookie and 2nd season (.275+ then .255+)
2020 he had end-of-season hip surgery and 2021 he was recovering from it.
Does the writer follow the orioles, or at least Google stats? Hays is better than Profar in just about every offensive and defensive category. Stupid to sign Profar.
C Yards Jeff
Hays, an outfielder, over Profar, an infielder converted to outfielder, every time. Plus, if he’s brought in, a moral issue arises? His agent is asking for pay well above what both Hays and Mullins got in their arb deals. Hard to believe Elias would pivot to him.
Profar moved to the OF full time last season for the first time in his career. It was a revelation. He was better than Hays on offense with a 111 OPS+ to 103, and in WAR with a 3.1 to 2.3 bWAR.
Hays might improve, but last season it was not a contest. Profar was better.
C Yards Jeff
Hays is better. His problem is injuries/staying healthy. Need another year or so out of him and preferably healthy until Cowser arrives. Profar does not fit in Birdland.
The revelation I see in Profar is that he is still a free agent. Telling. Boras has overvalued his client.
Recent results for Hays are not as good. The reason is immaterial. Profar has had injuries too. A concussion in 2022. A shoulder in 2021. Can’t remember what the injury was in Oakland in 2019.
We are talking about as a LF and Profar only has one season as a LF. So that is all we can use for him. For Hays we have 179 games over 3 seasons (2020-2022) in LF and he has produced a .245/.302/.422/.723 slashline with a 95 OPS+ and a 2.1 WAR.
On defense Profar was a -7 OAA in LF and Hays a -6 OAA in LF.
There is really no way to measure who is other than results at a specific position.
Hays was not having a career year. Profar was. Don’t expect Profar to do it again.
Profar was not having a career year on offense and it was his first time in LF.
Hays was having a typical year on offense 103 OPS+ vs 104 OPS+ average the last 3 years and 103 OPS+ career.. He was exactly his career average on defense. What you saw from Hays is what he is as a player.
There is no argument that anyone could present where Profar is an upgrade over Austin Hays. Offensively they are similar and Profar doesn’t come close defensively, particularly playing left field in Camden Yards!
C Yards Jeff
With Cowser corner outfielder in waiting, O’s go for a temp fix in 23? Gamble on Aaron Hicks? The man seems to have overstayed his welcome in the Bronx! Cross fingers on his health.
In exchange for Cashman eating Aaron’s salary, Os send Hays who starts in LF for Yanks in 23 and Stowers who would line up as a near future corner outfielder. IE Os are not only deep with infield prospects but sneakily in OF as well. Stowers is caught up in a numbers game, ok to move him.
Put down the bong. No way the O’s trade Hays and Stowers for Hicks.
If you take Hicks contract, Cashman will likely throw in a prospect.
Please don’t blame that level of idiocy on a bong or cannabis.
I don’t know — that seems to be giving the Yankees too much help.
Except for presenting the stats. The stats show Profar was much better last season. Profar was better offensively and in terms of WAR he was nearly 50% better.
C Yards Jeff
@overbaked mcbride; the key is Cashman eats Aaron’s salary. O’s are a year or 2 away from relevancy. Hays and Hicks not in picture by then … that would be Cowser. Stowers, IMO, is overvalued with no upside. Amateur hour on my part definitely but moving Hays and Stowers in exchange for a free Hicks as a placeholder until Cowser arrives fulltime is a fair trade. Cheers bong boy, cheers.
That’s insane. The O’s have three left fielders that are potentially light years ahead of what Hicks is now and you want the O’s to trade two of those players for Hicks? Poppycock.
C Yards Jeff
Baked; I agree with you to an extent. I’m saying that if the Os FO is looking outside for outfield help,IMO, a free Hicks is better than an added payroll Profar. Yes, of course he’s not free. But, IMO, Stowers and Hays ain’t gonna be in the starting nine a year or two from now. Hicks starts in left in 23 with Cowser getting reps after call up from Norfolk. And possibly he stays healthy and becomes the 4th for a couple of years.
Bottom line, like you, shocked if they go outside of org to shuffle outfield help. I’m just responding to the article.
Hicks hasn’t played a full season since 2018. He’s coming off an 86 OPS+ season. The Yankees couldn’t trade away Hicks for a sandwich, let alone a top 15 prospect and a starting LF. Objectively, what do the Orioles have to gain by trading away 2 better players for a worse one. I’m trying to understand what you mean by giving playing time to other people…if the Orioles want/need to trade Hays or Stowers, it will be for someone far better than Hicks.
C Yards Jeff
#OsMagic88; I’m with ya. Shocked if Os go outside of org to address outfield needs for this year and in the future.
I’m just saying, if Elias and company do decide to look elsewhere, IMO, Hicks is better than Profar. Now if the O’s could get Hicks for nothing in return and without taking on the burden of his salary, awesome!. And maybe Cashman and crew is silly enough to do it. Doubt it.
And agree to disagree on Hicks and level of play these days. Change of “address,” and good health could be the tonic to goose his play. Personally, like Gallo (and Stanton too), the bright lights of the Bronx mess with his head. To me, giving up a Hays and a Stowers or the like to get him at no payroll burden is what the Yanks would want. And, IMO, I don’t see Hays and Stowers as major contributes when the Os become relevant around 24/25.
Aaron Hicks wouldn’t make the Orioles team as a non-roster invite. Less than zero chance we trade anything for him.
C Yards Jeff
Agree to disagree osfandan. And I’m ok with that. Cheers
That no-undershirt look on Chapman is a no go.
Profar overplayed his hand and fell for the Boras song and dance about how he could get him more money and a multi-year deal, yet here we are with training camp in full swing and Profar is waiting for the KBO to call
Boras just got Andrus a one year deal for $3MM, and he only has to learn a new position. I’m sure he can get almost as much for Profar.
Difference being Profar opted out of a $6 million dollar deal with the Padres. Settling for a one year $3 million dollar contract was not what Profar opted out for
Most interesting part of this piece is the statistical nugget than Andrus, who has been around forever, has never played an inning away from SS in the field. That really seems surprising.
I have a son who lives in Chicago and goes crazy with the White Sox, this winter they did nothing
Dumpster Divin Theo
Profar would be a good signing for the Red Sox. People up there talk funny so it would be fun to hear them say Profar
It would be pronounced “Pro-fah”
Dumpster Divin Theo
As in Pro-fah Garciaparra
With Ryu off the books next year and Grichuk off the Books, the Jays have $24 Million to cover some organic growth of salaries, plus Chapman for 5 /110. for age 31 to 36
$24M may not even cover the raises of Vladdy, Bo, Kirk, and then Manoah in ’25. And they’re already above the tax threshold. And they’ve got a top prospect who can play third. Re-signing Chapman through age 36 would be a big mistake that would prevent addressing any other issues in those years.
Wait – what?? Profar is an upgrade over Hays?