Atkins: Blue Jays "absolutely interested" in re-signing Chapman

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins has confirmed the club's interest in re-signing third baseman Matt Chapman.

Speaking at the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona earlier this week, Atkins stated the Blue Jays "absolutely remain interested" in re-signing Chapman to a multi-year deal.

Chapman is currently 30-years old and has spent the past two seasons in Toronto after being dealt from Oakland prior to the 2022 season. Both his glove and his bat have been as advertised, as he's remained strong on both ends of the ball.

It appears as though the club has their eye on replacement options as well though, as a report came out yesterday that the Blue Jays met with former Chicago Cubs third baseman Jeimer Candelario's representatives as well. Not to mention Eugenio Suárez of the Mariners has been labeled as a trade target for the Blue Jays as well.

Offensively, Chapman had a down year in 2023, but it started oh-so promising. In the month of April, he hit .384 with an OPS+ over 200, but he regressed in the ensuing months. On defense, he was able to secure the fourth Gold Glove of his career.

As the four Gold Gloves in his trophy cabinet suggest, Chapman is among the very best defenders in all of baseball. Even after having a down year last season, to his standards, his defensive metrics were still very impressive. His range ranked in the 87th percentile, his arm strength ranked in the 80th percentile, and he ranked 25th in the majors in defensive runs saved with 12.

His offensive stats were not as pretty, though, as he struck out far too often and didn't hit for as much power as previous seasons. His strikeout percentage was in the 16th percentile and his whiff percentage ranked in the 18th percentile.

Should Toronto's efforts to re-sign Chapman be unsuccessful this offseason, internal options to replace him at third base include Santiago Espinal, Davis Schneider, Addison Barger, Orelvis Martinez and Cavan Biggio -- the latter of which had a very strong second half of last season.

With this offseason's free agent class not being a strong as previous ones, Chapman's history as an amazing defender, and the fact that his agent is Scott Boras, means that the player is likely to command a lucrative contract this winter, whether that be with Toronto or elsewhere.