5 players the Blue Jays need to sign ASAP now that Cody Bellinger is off the market

Who must the Jays actively pursue in the free agent market before it’s too late?

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages
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Matt Chapman

Finally, if the Jays are seriously thinking about being legitimate contenders for the 2024 season, they should wake up and sign third baseman Matt Chapman. For those thinking the likes of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Cavan Biggio, Davis Schneider, Santiago Espinal, Eduardo Escobar and even Turner could be sufficient in replacing the departed Chapman in his position, they need to think again. There is no one that can make up for the tri-combo of power, run production, and elite defense of Chapman other than the man himself.

Yes, Chapman had a down season in 2023 after starting off with a strong April. But remember, we are talking about a star player who has consistently scored close to 90 runs, hit close to 30 home runs and drove in close to 80 runs on average per season. More importantly, at the same time, he was the prime master of run prevention at the hot corner, with a whopping total of 94 DRS over his seven-year career, along with his four Gold Glove awards to boot. So being able to contribute massively both in the field and at the plate is a huge difference maker for any team.

More noteworthy is the fact that the longer Chapman remains unsigned and the less players that remain in the free agent market, the more leverage the Jays have in working out a potential shorter-term value deal with perhaps the best well-rounded third baseman in baseball. In addition, he was a fan favourite during his time in Toronto, so who wouldn’t want to go back to the place where they are cherished, beloved and adorned? As a result, of all moves the Jays need to make, this one is certainly a no-brainer if the team wants to win anything.