Sign Matt Chapman to play third base
When the Jays first signed Kiner-Falefa this offseason, many had him temporarily pencilled in as the starter at third base for 2024. Later, during a press conference by GM Ross Atkins, he indicated that they would be more than happy to go with a committee of Kiner-Falefa, Santiago Espinal and Cavan Biggio to cover the third base position for the upcoming season. That may sound like a great idea from the management’s perspective, but practically everyone knows the Jays must be kidding themselves if that is indeed the plan going forward.
It is quite obvious that would represent a huge downgrade from last season when the Jays had Matt Chapman manning the hot corner. Not only was he a proven power bat in the lineup, his defence is second to none as exemplified by his capturing of his fourth Gold Glove award in seven years in 2023. His offence may have been somewhat of a disappointment last year, but prior to that, Chapman had always been a consistent 25+ home run and 70+ RBI hitter throughout his career over a 162-game schedule pace. The Jays would be lucky if the combination of the aforementioned trio above can collectively put up numbers like that as a whole.
With the Jays left with only Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and George Springer as the main offensive contributors on the ballclub, it is essential that they include as much firepower as they can in their remaining needs in the lineup. They can’t just settle with what they currently have at third base, as they need the best possible player that could actually help the team both at the plate and on the field. As a result, that player has to be Chapman if the Jays intend to be serious contenders for the coming season and beyond.