Two free agents the Blue Jays should avoid
1. Matt Chapman
If you’re a regular here at Jays Journal, then you may already be aware – there are few Matt Chapman backers as unabashedly vocal as I am. In truth, if the Jays were to resign Chappy, I would probably celebrate, then gleefully prepare for another year of astonishing defense at third alongside breathtaking highs and maddening lows at the plate.
So why then does Chapman appear here as a free agent the Jays should not sign? It’s not just that his contract could exceed $150M and stretch until the 30-year-old is closing in on his 40s. More than that, it’s about the Blue Jays themselves, and where the strength of the organization lies.
Down on the farm, the Jays’ most exciting blue chip hitting prospects – Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger – have each spent the majority of their time on the left side of the infield. Since, barring something truly unforeseen, neither will be supplanting Bo Bichette as the Blue Jays’ starting shortstop, their most straightforward path to the big leagues most likely lies at third (or even second) base in the near future. Add to this that 2023 darling Davis “Babe” Schneider has spent time at third, and the simple fact is that re-signing Matt Chapman blocks the most intriguing young players in the organization from getting their shot.
If the choice is between signing Matt Chapman and signing nobody, Chappy is not the worst investment the Jays could make. But if the choice is between signing Chapman and signing an outfielder while letting the kids have a crack at third base in 2024, well, as much as it pains me to say, the latter is the way to go.