Reports: Giants, 3B Matt Chapman agree to 3-year, $54 million deal

Matt Chapman is headed to the Giants on a three-year deal.
Matt Chapman is headed to the Giants on a three-year deal. (Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Matt Chapman’s long, strange trip through free agency has finally come to an end.

The third baseman reportedly agreed Friday on a three-year, $54 million deal with the Giants, according to multiple reports. The deal reportedly includes opt-outs after both the first and second years.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Chapman will earn $20 million this season. He will then earn $18 million in 2025 and $16 million in 2026 if he doesn’t opt out.

Chapman, who will turn 31 in April, is entering his eighth season in the majors. He has put up a .240/.329/.461 slash line in his career, the first five years of which he spent with the Oakland Athletics. After Chapman hit .210 with a .314 on-base percentage while smashing 27 home runs in 2021, the A’s traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays, with whom found moderate success in 2022 and ’23.

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But defense is where Chapman really shines. He has won four Gold Gloves at third base: three with the A’s in 2018, 2019 and 2021 and another with the Jays in 2023. He also won the Rawlings Platinum Glove in 2018 and 2019. Chapman has led all third basemen in defensive runs saved and is third in outs above average at the position since the start of the 2018 season, per ESPN.

At the beginning of this offseason, Chapman was ranked No. 8 on Yahoo Sports’ list of the winter’s top 25 free agents.

Chapman will join a Giants team that has made the playoffs just once in the past seven seasons. San Francisco went 79-83 last year and then split with manager Gape Kapler. The organization hired San Diego Padres manager Bob Melvin to replace him.

Why the slow market for Chapman?

With such a skilled glove, why did it take so long for Chapman to sign a contract? His recent hitting stats might shed some light on that. At the plate, Chapman struggled for most of 2023. He came out like gangbusters at the start, hitting .384/.465/.687 with five home runs in the first 27 games.

But that ended up being his most successful stretch of the season, as he hit just .205 from May 1 through Sept. 30. That Chapman managed to finish 2023 hitting .240 is a testament to how strong his first-month stats were.

Chapman was one of four clients of MLB super-agent Scott Boras who hadn’t signed a 2024 contract at the start of spring training. The other three were first baseman/center fielder Cody Bellinger, who has since rejoined the Cubs, and starting pitchers Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell. Boras is the most powerful and most famous agent in the sport, known for representing the biggest stars and getting them the biggest deals.

In hindsight, it wasn’t all that surprising that the four Boras clients were still on the market as of mid-February. Boras is an aggressive agent, and in the past, he has advised clients to hold out as long as possible so they can get the best deals. But that can be a risky prospect. It didn’t exactly work out for Bellinger, who did not get the long, high-value contract he was likely hoping for, and now Chapman is also taking the shorter-term, opt-out-heavy route.

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