The staring match continues between the SF Giants and veteran third baseman Matt Chapman continues. However, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, new Giants Bob Melvin manager would love for the club to add him,
SF Giants manager Bob Melvin would love for club to add veteran third baseman
Spring training is right around the corner. Chapman's agent, Scott Boras, typically waits out the market in an effort to land his clients the biggest payday possible. If you are wondering why this offseason has been so slow, it is due in part to Boras' clients.
Boras not only represents Chapman, but Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger, Jordan Montgomery, and J.D. Martinez. All remain unsigned despite camp starting for all teams this week.
However, spring training tends to be the deadline that inspires action. For example, Bryce Harper did not sign with the Philadelphia Phillies until March of 2019. It just so happens that Boras also represents the power-hitting lefty.
I can understand why Chapman, Bellinger, Montgomery, and Snell might still be available. However, it is a bit surprising to see Martinez still on the market given that he is coming off of a very strong season in his age-35 season. He is likely not looking for a long-term deal in the same the rest of that group is, so he makes sense for a lot of teams. In fact, he would make sense for the Giants as well.
Heyman notes that it is not known how close things are between the Giants and Chapman. It is believed that dialogue remains ongoing, but nothing is imminent at this point. That could change quickly as teams begin playing spring training games as soon as next week.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons why Chapman remains connected to the Giants. He grew up in California and spent his first five years in an Oakland A's uniform before being shipped to the Blue Jays before the 2021 season.
The seven-year veteran has plenty of ties to the Giants organization. Bob Melvin was the A's manager when Chapman was in Oakland. Plus, team president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi served as an assistant general manager when the A's selected him in the first round of the 2014 draft. Lastly, Matt Williams has spoken favorably of Chapman this offseason, which is a bit uncommon for a team to do with respect to a free agent.
Chapman is coming off of a very solid season in which he registered a .240/.330/.424 line (108 OPS+) with 17 home runs, 54 RBI, and 66 runs in 581 plate appearances for the Blue Jays. This includes a 10.7 percent walk rate, 28.4 percent strikeout rate, and a .185 ISO.
The veteran infielder continued his strong play at the hot corner last year as well. He was worth +12 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and +4 Outs Above Average (OAA) at third base while taking home his fourth Gold Glove award.
Chapman's defense should continue to be a strength even as he ages. However, there are concerns as to how his bat will look by the end of his next contract. Whether those concerns are valid or not, he has plenty of fans in the Giants organization including the new manager. Is that enough to sway a deal? Only time will tell.