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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-Man: Matt Chapman

Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Matt Chapman came to us from the Oakland A’s on March 16th. The Blue Jays sent Gunnar Hoglund, Kevin Smith, Zach Logue and Kirby Snead to the A’s in exchange. I see that Smith and Snead made the major league team out of spring training.

Smith has played third base in all three of the A’s games, he’s 0 for 11 with 6 strikeouts so far, but it is early yet. Snead has pitched 2 innings of relief. He’s allowed 3 hits, 2 earned, 1 walk so far.

Chapman has hit his first home run for the Jays today, so we won the trade.

Chapman turns 29 at the end of this month (just a day before my eldest son’s birthday). He was a first-round draft pick, number 25 overall, in the 2014 draft. He made Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list before the 2017 season, at #94.

Matt made it to the majors that season. His first three seasons were very good offensively and defensively, hitting .257/.341/.500 with 74 home runs in 385 games. And he won two Gold Gloves.

2020 and 2021 didn’t go as well, at least with the bat, hitting .215/.306/.431 with 37 home runs in 188 games.

There were some injuries. The major one was a hip issue that required surgery back in September last year. As Buck has mentioned several times, Matt can rotate properly and turn on a ball now. We can hope that the bat will come back. Add in that Rogers Centre is a much better place for a slugger than whatever they are calling the Oakland Coliseum these days.

The last time we picked up a slugging third baseman from Oakland, he seemed to enjoy hitting at Rogers.

But, even if he doesn’t hit like the Bringer of Rain, he’ll be great to have around for his glove. Matt could easily be a shortstop, and I’m sure he’d be a good one, but he is terrific at third. He owns Gold and Platinum Gloves. He’ll improve the left side of our infield immensely. Of course, we lost a Gold Glove second baseman. I’m not sure how that will all balance out, but I’m excited to see Chapman play third this year. And I’m happy that he can take some pressure off Bo at short.

PECOTA figures Chapman to play 144 games, with 28 home runs and a .217/.314/.438 line. Of course, PECOTA thought he would play with Oakland, nor did it know about the hip surgery. We’ll see how big a difference those two things will make.

Poll

If the over/under on Chapman’s home runs is 28 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Over
    (191 votes)
  • 18%
    Under
    (44 votes)
235 votes total Vote Now

Poll

All other things being equal, would you rather the Jays had an

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    Gold Glove third baseman
    (225 votes)
  • 10%
    Gold Glove second baseman
    (25 votes)
250 votes total Vote Now

Poll

The best defensive 3B in Jays history was (leaving Chapman out of the conversation)

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Josh Donaldson
    (66 votes)
  • 15%
    Kelly Gruber
    (39 votes)
  • 3%
    Rance Mulliniks
    (9 votes)
  • 43%
    Scott Rolen
    (109 votes)
  • 3%
    Troy Glaus
    (10 votes)
  • 3%
    Brett Lawrie
    (8 votes)
  • 4%
    Jose Bautista
    (11 votes)
252 votes total Vote Now