The Toronto Blue Jays signed veteran bat Justin Turner earlier this week. Jon Morosi of The MLB Network thinks that this move might have taken them out of the running for four-time Gold Glove winner Matt Chapman, leaving the SF Giants and the Chicago Cubs as the possible landing spots.
Is the market for four-time Gold Glove winner down to SF Giants and Cubs?
We will admit that the Turner signing likely does not preclude the Blue Jays from re-signing Chapman. However, we mapped out how Toronto's infield alignment currently looks and there just are not that many at-bats remaining.
Of course, that equation changes if the Blue Jays did bring back Chapman. It would move Isiah Kiner-Falefa into more of a utility role rather than as a primary third baseman. As things currently stand, Chapman feels like a want more than a need for Toronto.
Of course, the same could be said for the Giants. The Giants do not have a need for Chapman. J.D. Davis is capable of handling the hot corner and at a discount relative to what Chapman will eventually get paid.
The rest of the infield includes Marco Luciano (shortstop), Thairo Estrada (second base), Wilmer Flores (first base), and LaMonte Wade Jr. (first base). Plus, Casey Schmitt could be in line to take over at third base as soon as this season.
The Giants have a lot of infield options. Similar to Toronto, adding Chapman is more of a want than a need. That said, Chapman would arguably be the best infielder on San Francisco's roster.
We recently covered the pros and cons for adding Chapman. The veteran infielder's market seems to be dwindling. The Blue Jays could still be in the mix, but they have enough coverage to go in a different direction.
If that is true, then it could come down to the Giants and Cubs. The Cubs have a need for a third baseman, but it feels like they are more focused on retaining Cody Bellinger. Could they pivot to Chapman if Bellinger signs elsewhere? I suppose it is possible. I just do not see Bellinger leaving Chicago at this point in time. That could change, especially with spring training right around the corner.
In a way, it almost feels like the market could be just down to the Giants. And, Chapman's agent, Scott Boras, could be working behind the scenes to create a market that just might not be there.
Jon Morosi's report is not necessarily news. The Giants have been connected to Chapman for much of the offseason. They just cleared about $9 million in a trade that sent Ross Stripling to the Oakland A's. Will that be reinvested in the roster? Morosi is not alone in recently speculating that Chapman is a fit for San Francisco. Bob Nightengale of USA Today suggested on Sunday that the cleared payroll space could help them land Chapman or another top free agent.