Both the SF Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks had been connected to Matt Chapman quite a bit this offseason. However, the Diamondbacks could be out of the mix after swinging a trade to acquire steady third baseman Eugenio Suárez.
SF Giants division rival likely out of Matt Chapman sweepstakes after sneaky, good trade
The Diamondbacks shipped reliever Carlos Vargas and catcher Seby Zavala to acquire the 10-year veteran. It is a bit confusing as to why the Mariners would be motivated to make a deal like this, but perhaps, they are banking on Zavala to be a quality defensive backstop who hits at an above-average clip like he did with the Chicago White Sox in 2022.
If the Giants wanted a short-term upgrade at third base, this is a deal that they could (or should?) have made. However, the Diamondbacks struck first and now they have a good glove at third base who has hit at least 30 home runs in four of the past five full seasons.
Suárez's seven-year, $66 million contract runs through 2024, but this includes a $15 million team option for 2025 with a $2 million buyout. In essence, the Diamondbacks get two years of control over Suárez for two players who do not figure into their long-term plans.
That said, this move likely takes the Diamondbacks out of the running for Chapman. Arizona had been in the market for a third baseman this offseason and the addition of Suárez checks that box.
This could be good news for the Giants who have been connected to Chapman a lot this winter. Plus, both Bob Melvin and Matt Williams have spoken highly of the four-time Gold Glove winner since they joined the Giants. It is a bit odd for personnel to speak so openly about a free agent, but it seems like the organization is aligned in their thoughts on him.
The Giants will have to compete with the incumbent Toronto Blue Jays. The seven-year veteran rejected a qualifying offer from the Blue Jays earlier in November, so that is one roadblock that the Giants would need to consider. They have not signed a player who rejected a qualifying offer in nearly a decade, so they have to weigh whether they are willing to do so for Chapman.
Plus, the Giants will need to compete with Chapman's asking price. MLB Trade Rumors predicts that he will score a six-year, $150 million deal. That is way beyond anything the Giants have ever handed out to a position player in free agency.
While the Diamondbacks are seemingly out on Chapman's market, there are several other teams connected to him, including the New York Yankees, New York Mets, and the Chicago Cubs. This will give him a lot of leverage in contract talks. If the Giants do land Chapman, they will be in the unusual position of winning a bidding war.