MLB Insider Links Dodgers to Impending Free Agent Third Baseman Matt Chapman
We are a long ways away from the 2023 offseason, as we are just two weeks into the year. But it’s never too early to look ahead, and that’s exactly what MLB insider Jon Heyman did on Thursday. Heyman wrote an article about impending free agent third baseman Matt Chapman — as he’s having a resurgent year in Toronto — and linked the Dodgers to him as a potential landing spot. Here’s what he had to say:
“Chapman is back on his game two years after hip surgery, and he leads the AL with 23 hits, a .489 batting average and 1.2 offensive WAR (another well-known 2023-24 free agent, Shohei Ohtani, leads in overall WAR at 1.6).
“The Cubs, Giants Dodgers and incumbent Blue Jays round out the list of most logical landing spots for Chapman, known as one of the best fielding third basemen in MLB.”
Chapman is a one-time All Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner and a two-time Platinum Glove Award winner at third base. He was emerging as one of baseball’s best third baseman before undergoing hip surgery.
However, he seems fully healthy now and, at 29 years old, is still in the prime of his career. That’s why, when he’s a free agent at the end of this season, he’s due for a pretty healthy payday.
The Dodgers definitely could and should be interested in adding Chapman this winter.
The Dodgers don’t have any great current options at third base, and don’t have any future ones, either.
Max Muncy is manning the hot corner this year, but he’s not exactly a great defender. He’ll also be 33 at the end of this season.
Miguel Vargas has third base experience from the minor leagues, but the Dodgers seem keen on him being the second baseman of the future.
Outside of those guys, there’s Michael Busch — who reportedly just played his first career game at third base in Triple-A — and not much else. Kody Hoese, the former top prospect, just hasn’t panned out, while Jorbit Vivas doesn’t feel like the third baseman of the future.
The Dodgers could get creative by teaching one of their many great young catchers the third base position — at some point they’re going to have a logjam with Will Smith, Diego Cartaya and Dalton Rushing — but defensively, that’s far from a great plan.
Chapman, with his above-average bat and Platinum Glove-level defense, would be a great long term solution. However, this free agent class isn’t exactly flowing with talent on the hitting side, which will likely drive his price up.
Do you want to see the Dodgers sign Matt Chapman this offseason? And what kind of contract would you give him? Let us know in the comments below!
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