Report: SF Giants ‘a favorite’ for Matt Chapman
Dec 29, 2023, 10:23 AM
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
With superstar Shohei Ohtani and Japanese phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto off the board–and both heading to the Los Angeles Dodgers–there are expectations that the MLB free agent market will begin to move shortly after the New Year.
After missing out on Ohtani and Yamamoto, the San Francisco Giants are expected to be in the mix for several of the remaining big-name free agents on the board.
Matt Chapman is a name that has been linked to San Francisco since the start of free agency, and the third baseman appears to be at the top of the Giants’ free agent wish list heading into 2024.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, San Francisco is viewed as a favorite for the 30-year-old.
Jon Heyman on Matt Chapman’s market:
“I think the Giants are a favorite or the favorite for Chapman… To me, he’s a fit that makes sense for the Giants.” https://t.co/6zXf4Xtng8
— Jeff Young (@BaseballJeff1) December 29, 2023
Chapman started his career in the Bay Area under new Giants manager Bob Melvin when both were employed by the Oakland Athletics during the 2017-2021 seasons.
San Francisco could use some help in the infield, especially at third base–a position that the Giants ranked 27th when it came to defensive runs saved in 2023 (-11 runs).
More on free agent 3B Matt Chapman
This isn’t the first time Chapman has been linked to San Francisco.
According to The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, Chapman was seen chatting with Melvin during the GM meetings in Arizona during the opening week of free agency back in November.
Free-agent third baseman Matt Chapman attended the GM Meetings today. He spent several minutes chatting with Giants manager Bob Melvin. 👀
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) November 8, 2023
Chapman, who met with at least one team during the meetings, spent five years playing under Melvin in Oakland before the A’s traded the two-time Platinum Glove Award winner to Toronto before the 2022 season.
San Francisco has deep pockets and will be heavily involved in the free agent market, and adding a slick-fielding third baseman with pop like Chapman certainly makes sense on paper.
Chapman, who just won his fourth Gold Glove Award after another impressive season at the hot corner, has hit 24+ home runs in four of his seven MLB seasons.
A low batting average (.240 career average) and a high strikeout rate (28.4% in 2023) could cause teams to balk at committing to Chapman long-term, but there is no better fielding third baseman currently in baseball today.
According to MLB Trade Rumors’ contract predictions for this free agent class, Chapman, 30, is in line to receive a new deal in the neighborhood of $150 million over six years.
SF Giants Schedule
- February 13-15th – Pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training workouts
- February TBD – Full squad workouts
- Saturday, February 24th – Spring Training opener vs. Chicago Cubs
- Thursday, March 28th-Sunday, March 31st – @ San Diego Padres
- Monday, April 1st-Wednesday, April 3rd – @ Los Angeles Dodgers
- Friday, April 5th-Sunday, April 7th – vs. San Diego Padres