For the upcoming offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays will have seven key members from their 2023 roster heading for free agency. Obviously not all of them will return to the Jays for the 2024 season, but at the same time, there should be a good chance that some may find themselves back with the team for another run.
What is the likelihood that the Jays re-sign some of these players, and which ones will most likely be let go?
Here, we will take a closer look at the probability in which each of these players will remain with the ballclub beyond the 2023 season.
7. Matt Chapman
Kicking things off, there’s the unpredictable Matt Chapman. Heading into his free agency year, Chapman began the year on a torrid start that saw him net both Player of the Week and Player of the Month honours in the American League in April. However, he hasn’t come close to matching that kind of production in the following months, as he had slowly regressed back to the mean to more his usual career numbers.
He may be the best defensive third baseman the Jays have had since Scott Rolen, but his inconsistency at the plate has left a lot to be desired. For the 2023 year, Chapman has hit .241 with a .755 OPS, with 63 runs scored, 15 home runs and 52 RBI. Even with his hot start to the season, he is actually on pace to finish with lower production numbers than he had in his previous year with the Jays.
With Chapman being the best available third baseman heading into free agency this offseason, he will most likely demand for a massive multi-year contract that could be in the nine-digits category. It will probably be enough to lead him right into retirement, but do the Jays want to take that gamble and put the team in a sort of financial stranglehold for the next decade? Don’t forget, if they also intend to extend both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette eventually, including Chapman in the financial bind just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Added to the fact that with his inconsistent hitting, his contract will most likely not age well over time. As a result, it would be of the Jays’ best interest to move on from Chapman and resort to one of their internal solutions. These options could include potentially one of their up and coming prospects in Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger, or perhaps trying out even one of Ernie Clement or Davis Schneider, who have certainly performed well with the Jays this year in their abbreviated stints.
Verdict: He's already good as gone.