SF Giants Rumors: Free agency updates on Blake Snell and Matt Chapman

It sounds like the Giants may be getting closer to signing one of best remaining free agents.
Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman (26)
Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman (26) / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants have made some key acquisitions this winter. Farhan Zaidi and the Giants front office came to terms with Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee on a six-year deal, inked slugger Jorge Soler to a three-year contract, and swung a trade to bring Robbie Ray to the Bay Area.

But despite all those moves, the Giants are still looking up at the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. Honestly, given all the moves the Arizona Diamondbacks have made this offseason following an appearance in the World Series, it's quite plausible that the Giants are also behind them.

But maybe the Giants aren't quite done adding to the roster this offseason. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants remain in the hunt for both Matt Chapman and Blake Snell. Sources tell Slusser that the chances of a deal with one of the top two remaining free agents is 50-50.

SF Giants Rumors: Free agency updates on Blake Snell and Matt Chapman

If the Giants are truly interested in signing one of Chapman or Snell, which would be the best fit? If the season started today, the Giants starting third baseman would likely be Wilmer Flores or perhaps JD Davis. Chapman is definitely an upgrade defensively over both of those guys.

While Chapman's offensive numbers took a bit of tumble in 2023, he still posted a 108 OPS+ and racked up 17 home runs. But with Soler under contract, the Giants no longer need big bopper in the middle of the batting order. Chapman has always been viewed as a top-flight defender, and has four Gold Glove Awards to show for it.

On the other end of the spectrum is Snell, who was with the Giants NL West rival, the San Diego Padres, last season and won the Cy Young Award for the second time in his career. Snell is a strikeout machine with 234 punchouts in 2023 to go along with a sparkling 2.25 ERA.

But there's a reason why Snell has lingered on the open market for so long. Snell oftentimes finds it difficult to get beyond the fifth inning, and the left-hander led the league in walks last season with 99 free passes.

Both Chapman and Snell are represented by Scott Boras. Another Boras client, Cody Bellinger, signed a short-term deal with the Chicago Cubs earlier this week. Could San Francisco do something similar with either Matt Chapman or Blake Snell? The Giants estimated payroll, according to FanGraphs, is sitting at $164 million.

That's well below the Competitive Balance Tax threshold, so there's no reason the Giants shouldn't entertain the idea of bringing Chapman and/or Snell to the Bay Area for the 2024 season. A short-term contract offer with several opt outs could be the perfect way for the Giants to upgrade the roster and not lock themselves into an albatross of a contract.