With Cubs' latest signing, Scott Boras' leverage is decreasing and the Blue Jays should strike

Matt Chapman in the Wild Card series vs the Minnesota Twins
Matt Chapman in the Wild Card series vs the Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

Notorious sports agent Scott Boras had high hopes heading into this offseason, taking on some of MLB's biggest names including 2023 NL Cy Young Blake Snell, two-time Platinum Glove winner Matt Chapman and former-NL MVP Cody Bellinger.

Boras is famous in the baseball world for not only taking on big clients but securing them big contracts. In past years, he has secured various players (including Corey Seager and Gerrit Cole) contracts exceeding $300M. This offseason has been different, however, as most of Boras' top clients, including Chapman and Snell, are still unsigned despite spring training games starting. Now that the clock is ticking on Boras to deliver for his top clients, the Blue Jays should set their sights on bringing back their former Gold Glove third baseman.

This all starts with Bellinger. The Blue Jays were reportedly "in" on him fter he had a very solid bounce back with the Cubs last year. His ability to recover after multiple injuries and two very ugly seasons was promising and seemed extremely lucrative. He had contract prospects set in the $150M range, possibly even $200M. But despite his top-10 MVP finish and Silver Slugger award, Boras was only able to muster up "Belli" a three-year contract worth $80M with a pair of opt-outs. Although he had a great season, teams were unwilling to make a long-term commitment to a player laced with injury risk. Not even Boras' best efforts could convince teams otherwise, leading Bellinger to settle with the Cubs and having to try again at a big contract next year.

Chapman doesn't carry much injury risk, unlike Bellinger, but he too has concerns. Chapman, while a solid 3B, can be fairly inconsistent. He had a decent year in 2023, slashing .240/.330/.424 with 17 HRs, accumulating a strong 4.4 bWAR. He started the year with an incredible April, slashing a league-high 15 doubles complete with a monstrous 1.152 OPS.

The rest of the season would be less glamorous, however, as Chapman would go on to have an OPS under .640 in the remaining four out of five months. This too was the case in 2022, as he had an incredible month of July (9 HRs and an OPS above 1.000), but seemingly slumped his way through the rest of the year. It's no wonder Chapman hasn't inked a 5 to 7 year deal yet, as this inconsistency can be fairly undesirable for a team looking to compete long-term.

The good news for the Blue Jays is that they don't have to commit to Chapman long-term, nor should they. The Blue Jays, like the Cubs, should look to bring back Chapman on a short-term deal. It would make sense for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the Blue Jays still have a roster hole at third. Although Justin Turner is a third baseman by trade, his tools are best suited for DH as he is a below-average defender. Isiah Kiner-Falefa, although winning a Gold Glove of his own at third in 2020, should not be the starting option. His below-average bat and infield versatility would suggest he's best suited for the bench.

The Blue Jays do have some decent prospect options at third if they decide to bring up either Orelvis Martinez or Addison Barger; but again, these carry risk (perhaps more than Chapman). Chapman on a short-term deal not only locks up third base, but gives enough time for the Jays' prospects to properly develop. Considering Chapman would come at a cheap cost with fewer years to bear, a short-term reunion with the Blue Jays seems ever more likely and desirable.