Blue Jays: Looking at the players involved in the Matt Chapman trade
Earlier this year, the Toronto Blue Jays were considered one of the more active teams in the free agent market. The front office signed Kevin Gausman to a long-term deal while also adding left-hander Yusei Kikuchi to a three-year contract. To help in the bullpen, the club signed Yimi Garcia to a two-year deal and he has been a rockstar so far as a setup man for Jordan Romano in the later innings.
On top of these signings, the Jays also traded for a few players prior to Opening Day as well. The club sent outfielder Randal Grichuk to the Colorado Rockies (along with some cash) in exchange for Raimel Tapia and prospect Adrian Pinto. This deal helped Grichuk earn more playing time, something that might have been limited in Toronto, and also helped the club remove some of his salary off the books, although they did send roughly ten million dollars over the course of the next two seasons to help offset the contract.
Ross Atkins and co. also dealt reliever Anthony Castro to the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for outfielder Bradley Zimmer, who was used mostly as a defensive replacement and pinch runner while seeing limited at-bats. He was recently designated for assignment with the club also singing Jackie Bradley Jr. and having George Springer return from the IL.
The Blue Jays made headlines earlier this season by sending four players to Athletics in exchange for third baseman Matt Chapman.
These trades were overshadowed by the Matt Chapman deal though, as the Blue Jays acquired the Oakland Athletics third baseman in an eerily similar deal to the Josh Donaldson transaction that occurred back in November of 2014. Chapman helped shore up the left side of the diamond for the Jays and they also signed him to a two-year deal worth $25 million, ensuring the two sides would not have to go to arbitration before he was scheduled to reach free agency.
In return, the Jays sent 2021 first-round selection Gunnar Hoglund, INF Kevin Smith, LHP Zach Logue, and LHP Kirby Snead to Oakland, with Hoglund being the focal point of the transaction.
With the season now past the halfway mark and both teams are entering the final stretch of the campaign, let’s take a look at how the players who were sent to the Athletics are doing with their new organization, whether at the big league level or down in the minors.