With recent news breaking of the Arizona Diamondbacks' trade acquisition of Eugenio Suárez, the market for Matt Chapman has thinned ever so slightly and brings the Blue Jays that much closer to bringing back their star third baseman.
Chapman posted a divisive stat line in his final year with the Blue Jays in 2023, sporting a .240/.330/.755 triple slash line and notching nearly 40 doubles while simultaneously maintaining a strikeout rate of over 28%. Chapman's true value came from his defense in 2023, seen explicitly in his winning of the Gold Glove Award for American League third basemen. Needless to say, if Chapman made a return to Toronto the stats would certainly not leave too much to the imagination.
In terms of where Chapman fits in with this Blue Jays team going forward, his veteran presence will surely be missed in the locker room, not to mention the surehandedness he boasts at the hot corner. The Blue Jays tendered Chapman a qualifying offer of $20.325 million at the end of this past season and even though he declined this offer, the Blue Jays will be compensated with a draft pick in their should they lose him in free agency.
Coming hot off a World Series loss to the Texas Rangers, the Arizona Diamondbacks were one of the biggest potential suitors to land Chapman in free agency due to the hole left at third base by aging star Evan Longoria and the unproven Emmanuel Rivera. Suárez brings stability to the hot corner for Arizona, which brings the Blue Jays closer to a potential reunion with Chapman. While the Suárez deal does technically place the Jays in a better spot to land Chapman a returning deal, should the Jays entertain it?
As a whole, Chapman staying a Blue Jay for the next few years wouldn't be a bad thing for the team. Still, it might block players such as Cavan Biggio, Davis Schneider, or even prospects like Addison Barger or Orelvis Martinez from starting jobs at the hot corner. Chapman is by far the best third baseman available this offseason, and a change of pace at third might not be what Toronto's front office is looking for. A perennial All-Star third baseman for years to come brings security for the foreseeable future which would be appealing to any team, especially given a player with Chapman's career track record.
While Chappy might seek a higher value than the Blue Jays will be willing to offer, bringing him back to Toronto will bolster the Jays' competitive spirits going forward with their young core. Matt Chapman has shown in his two-year stint with Toronto that his services are well worth a payday and the Blue Jays should pursue him as much as they can.