We have used this idea for the last couple of years. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, use the contract FanGraphs suggests they will get and have a poll asking if we would like to sign him for that amount.
There have been a lot of rumours that the Jays are trying to bring Matt Chapman back (of course, there are also rumours that they are going hard after Ohtani).
I don’t have to tell you anything about Chapman. You’ve been watching him for the past two years. He turns 31 in April of next year, so he might lose a little of his first-step quickness on defense in the next few years. But, odds are he’ll be an above-average 3B for quite a while, with the arm that he has.
And we’ve seen he is a streak hitter. He was all-world in April. In the second half, he hit .205/.307/.357.
It is a question I’ve always wondered about: “What would you rather? If two plays finish at the same point, say a 110 OPS+, would you rather a player who was incredibly hot for five weeks and poor the rest of the season or a player who was consistently at the 110 OPS level all season long?”
Never a great hitter for average or on-base ability, he lost something at the plate as well, struggling more than ever with velocity — he whiffed 17.9 percent of the time on pitches 95-plus, up from just 13.2 percent over the 2021-22 period, and had more of his batted balls go to the opposite field than in any prior season in his career. In fact, all eight extra-base hits he had that left the infield on pitches 95-plus mph went the other way. He hasn’t lost strength, certainly, with extremely strong exit velocity and hard-hit rates, but he’s lost some bat speed, and while he’s young for that to be happening it’s at least a cause for concern going forward. It’s always possible it’s a one-year blip, and the 5-WAR version is still in here, but I’d price in some of this early decline risk into any offer, as he was a 3.5 fWAR player last year and is probably going to average 2.5 to 3 fWAR over a four-year deal.
Chapman occupies that strange space between competence and stardom, particularly so if you’re worried about how his defense will age. He’s certainly an above-average hitter, but not necessarily by much; he needs to hit the ball hard to make up for his strikeout issues, a goal he generally accomplishes. That kind of production is streaky by its very nature, but he’s made the general skill set work for long enough that I think everyone is basically on board with Chapman as a bat that’s 10% above average or thereabouts.
Personally, I’d like the Jays to make room for Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger. I’d rather they spend their money in other places.
Clemens figures Chapman will get a 5-year, $120 million contract, so an annual average of $24 million. I don’t know, I don’t think I’d do that, but then sign everyone and let God (or John Schneider) decide is also a way to go.
Should the Blue Jays sign Matt Chapman if the price is $24 million annually for 5 years?
This poll is closed
Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about if
Probably not, but I wouldn’t hate it
No, Absolutely not