3 former Blue Jays we’ll be glad are gone in 2024 and 2 we’ll wish stayed

Which former Jays players will we missed the most, and which we shouldn’t worry too much having left the team for 2024?

Matt Chapman and Brandon Belt
Matt Chapman and Brandon Belt / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
5 of 5

Matt Chapman

After coming over from the Oakland Athletics via a blockbuster trade in March of 2022, Matt Chapman significantly helped in stabilizing both the infield defense at third base, along with providing solid run production at the plate for the Jays. Offensively, he compiled a .234 batting average, .756 OPS, 112 OPS+, along with 149 runs scored, 66 doubles, 44 home runs and 130 RBI in his two years with the team. These overall solid numbers were achieved despite his offensive struggles that he encountered from May onwards last season. Nevertheless, Chapman had been a consistent 20+ homer, 70+ RBI man throughout his time in the big,leagues, so 2023 was probably just a slight anomaly in his otherwise productive career.

Defensively, there was no question Chapman is one of the best in the league at his position. Even though he entered the wrong side of 30 last year, he hasn’t lost a step in the field by posting 12 DRS along with a .968 fielding percentage, en route to his fourth Gold Glove win in seven years. As a result of his elite well-rounded play, he entered free agency as the top player available at his position.

However, despite many of the Jays’ faithful desperately hoping for a reunion with Chapman after seeing what has transpired so far this offseason for the club, he is now officially off the market as he signed with the San Francisco Giants to a three-year, $54M deal. The contract also included opt-outs in the second and third years. It is quite baffling to see that the Jays let one of the important pieces of their lineup go for such a value price, considering they could have easily matched it or even given more to retain his services. The Jays may have multiple options they could deploy at third base this season, including Cavan Biggio, Santiago Espinal, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Davis Schneider and other hopefuls such as Addison Barger and Orelvis Martinez. But they will pretty soon realize that none of them will likely turn out to be the mold of Chapman, whose combination of smart baserunning, elite defense, power hitting and leadership make him one of the rare breeds in the league. As a result, without a doubt, Chapman will be sorely missed, as his departure will most certainly come back to haunt the Jays for 2024 and perhaps even the years beyond.