The SF Giants have been connected to a lot of free agents this offseason, including veteran third baseman Matt Chapman. We already looked at three reasons why the Giants should sign him, so we are presenting the other side of that argument.
3 reasons the SF Giants should avoid third baseman Matt Chapman
The 30-year-old just finished a solid 2023 campaign with the Toronto Blue Jays. He registered a .240/.330/.424 line (108 OPS+) with 17 home runs, 54 RBI, and 66 runs in 581 plate appearances. This includes a 10.7 percent walk rate, 28.4 percent strikeout rate, and a .185 ISO.
It was the first time in the last five full seasons that the righty bat did not swat at least 20 home runs. However, Chapman continued his strong run of durability by appearing in at least 140 games for the fifth straight full season.
There is no question about his defensive fit. Wherever the veteran third baseman signs, he will immediately bolster that team's infield defense. In 2023, Chapman took his fourth Gold Glove award while posting +4 Outs Above Average (OAA) at the hot corner.
1. There Are Other (Better?) Options
According to Fangraphs, Chapman is due to receive approximately four years and $80 million in free agency this year. That would be in addition to a lost draft pick due to the qualifying offer he received from Toronto. The AAV would be $20 million which is good for 7th among 3B in MLB.
Chapman is projected for a 2.6 WAR in 2024. In that same vein, Jeimer Candelario is due to receive three years, $36 million. He has no qualifying offer attached to him so no draft pick compensation is required to sign him. His AAV would place him 11th among 3B in MLB. Candelario is projected for a 1.8 WAR in 2024. Therefore, the Giants could sign Jeimer Candelario for $8 million less a year with one less year of commitment.
No compensation would have to be forfeited, unlike Chapman. All for .8 less WAR. Not to mention Candelario is a switch hitter, can play multiple positions, and is the same age as Chapman. If the SF Giants were to pair Candelario and J.D. Davis (proj. 1.9 WAR in 2024) together you get 3.7 WAR for approximately $18.9 million or they can sign Chapman for $20 million a year for 2.6 WAR.