Matt Chapman says he has 'unfinished business' in Bay Area after signing deal with Giants

Mon, Mar 4, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Matt Chapman says he has 'unfinished business' in Bay Area after signing deal with Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The more Matt Chapman looked around, the more the four-time Gold Glove third baseman realized he wanted to go back to the Bay Area.

"It just seemed like it was destiny," Chapman said. "I think we've got some unfinished business."

Chapman - a California native - was introduced as a member of the San Francisco Giants on Monday at the team's spring training facility, one day after finalizing a deal that guarantees $54 million over three seasons.

The third baseman reunites with a former manager, Bob Melvin. Chapman played under Melvin for five seasons from 2017 to 2021 when the two were just across the bay with the Oakland Athletics before the notoriously thrifty franchise traded the third baseman to the Blue Jays before the 2022 season.

"I felt like we had something really special building with the A's - unfortunately that got kind of ripped out of our hands," Chapman said. "Getting to come back, be in an organization like the Giants, a team that's not afraid to spend, go get free agents, keep guys together and keep adding. All the things you expect a winning franchise to do."

The Giants have been willing to spend this offseason as they chase the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West. The Dodgers are coming off a 100-win season - and spent more than $1 billion to sign Japanese stars Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto - while the D-backs made a surprise run to the World Series last season.

READ MORE Dodgers acquire Andre Lipcius from Tigers and place Clayton Kershaw on 60-day injured list Cardinals' All-Star right-hander Sonny Gray leaves game with hamstring tightness Zack Wheeler and Phillies reach $126 million, 3-year deal for 2025-27

Chapman became the fourth free agent addition for the Giants after outfielder Jorge Soler reached a $43 million, three-year deal, reliever Jordan Hicks agreed to a $44 million, four-year contract and catcher Tom Murphy struck an $8.25 million, two-year agreement.

Chapman has player options for the 2025 and 2026 seasons, and the deal includes a mutual option for 2027. He could earn $20 million for one year, $38 million for two years, $54 million for three years or $73 million for four years.

If Chapman plays like he expects in 2024, he can try free agency again.

"It was definitely a strange market this year, and the free agent process was a little abnormal," Chapman said. "But our goals were to either get a long-term contract that we felt I was worth and, if not, get the short-term contract with opt-outs and bet on myself."

Chapman batted .240 with 17 home runs, 39 doubles, 54 RBIs and a .755 OPS in 140 games last season. Toronto finished third in the AL East at 89-73 and was swept by Minnesota in their best-of-three Wild Card Series.

The third baseman got off to a huge start, hitting .384 with a 1.152 OPS and 21 RBIs through the end of April, but he slumped most of the rest of the way, tailing off to .205 with five homers, 15 RBIs and a .663 OPS in the second half.

Chapman said a sprained middle finger on his left hand hampered his offense during the final few months of last season, but those issues are behind him.

"It just needed rest," Chapman said. "It's not easy to get rest during the season. I tried to push through it."

His agent, Scott Boras, maintained Chapman had many options. Boras believes the 30-year-old is entering the prime of his career.

"I've seen this with (Adrian) Beltre or (Mike) Schmidt - you go back and look at all the third baseman - they reach a lot of their optimums after the age of 30 and play at very high levels," Boras said. "We've had many third basemen have their best seasons at 34, 35."

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

DAVID BRANDT Sports Reporter based in Phoenix twitter mailto "
Article Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
Dean Sports
TKWins.com