While Matt Chapman has struggled at the plate like many of his Blue Jays teammates, he’s brought a new dimension to their infield defence with his incredible glove work.
That’s more or less what the Blue Jays knew they were getting when they traded for Chapman prior to the start of the 2022 campaign. What they had hoped was that Chapman, with a full season in the rearview after hip surgery, could get back to hitting like the player that finished 6th in AL MVP voting in 2019 prior to his injury. Still jury 29 years old, it’s a bet that I’m a fan of, and even after a less than inspiring start at the plate, I still believe the trade the Jays made with Oakland will pay off.
Speaking of that trade, the Jays pivoted from their long-rumoured pursuit of Jose Ramirez and struck a deal with the A’s that would bring Chapman to Toronto and send Kevin Smith, Gunnar Hoglund, Kirby Snead, and Zach Logue to Oakland to help kickstart their rebuild. The A’s also traded fellow star Matt Olson to Atlanta, among other moves they made over the disjointed offseason.
The three-time Gold Glove winner also had some appeal because of his contract situation, as he won’t be a free agent until after the 2023 season, and they already locked him up for two years and 25 million to avoid the arbitration process over that period. The Blue Jays saw more than just a potential bounce-back candidate when they acquired Chapman, and in some ways he’s already proven them to be correct even if his numbers at the plate haven’t been very good so far.
There has been some good, some bad, and still plenty of reasons that this trade could look much better by the time this season is over. Let’s have a look at the good, the bad, and the promising.