MLB: Matt Olson Signs with the New York Mets! Read more at…….

Free agent third baseman Matt Chapman has agreed to a three-year contract worth $54 million with the San Francisco Giants after two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Toronto previously extended a $20.325 million qualifying offer on Monday, Nov. 6, but Chapman declined that offer to enter free agency as expected.

The 30-year-old Chapman began his career with the Oakland Athletics in 2017. He proceeded to finish seventh in the American League MVP voting in 2018 and sixth in 2019 as he showcased his talents at the plate and in the field. Chapman made his lone All-Star team in 2019 and earned Gold Gloves in 2018, 2019, and 2021.

After the 2021 season, the Athletics gutted their team and either traded or let go of their top players, including 2023 MLB home run leader Matt Olson.

Chapman also left town in March 2022 via a trade to the Toronto Blue Jays, who then signed him to a two-year, $25 million contract extension. That deal bought out his remaining two arbitration years, making him eligible for free agency before 2022.

Chapman, a two-time Platinum Glove winner, is one of the best defensive third basemen in baseball. He’s also showcased some pop at the dish with 27 home runs apiece during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Unfortunately, Chapman has also experienced his fair share of struggles at the dish, hitting just .226 over the past four seasons. He’s made up for it with his power, posting an above-average .748 OPS during that span.

The second half of the 2023 campaign brought offensive struggles for Chapman, who had just five home runs, 15 RBI, a .205 average and .663 OPS in 52 games over the second half of the season. Chapman notably missed some time with a right middle finger sprain.

For the year, he had 17 homers, 54 RBI, a .240 batting average and a .755 OPS.

Ultimately, Chapman still fortifies the third base spot for the GiantsHis defensive dominance more than makes up for any offensive concerns, and he’s routinely been one of the best at his position in the American League during his career. That shouldn’t change now.

The Giants’ interest in Chapman has been well-known for some time. On Nov. 15, Jon Heyman of the New York Post spoke with Lauren Shehadi of MLB Network (2:45 mark) and stated the Giants had already talked with Chapman about him playing in San Francisco. He cited the connection between Chapman and Giants manager Bob Melvin, who was notably in Oakland with the third baseman from 2017-2021.

Now Chapman is officially aboard for a Giants team that found itself in the NL Wild Card race before fading down the stretch and finishing 79-83. It’s been tough sledding for San Francisco since an excellent 107-win campaign in 2021 that unfortunately ended with an NLDS loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. San Francisco went 81-81 the following year before dipping below .500 in 2023.

The Giants hope Chapman can provide some much-needed pop to the lineup (dead-last in OPS in the National League last season) while improving their defense at third (fifth-worst fielding percentage in MLB).

Andruw Jones had a hunch when the Atlanta Braves traded for Matt Olson in 2022 — then immediately signed him to a $168 million, eight-year contract — that his season home run record wouldn’t last long.

“I thought Matt would be the guy to break the record,” Jones said last weekend in Atlanta when his number was retired. “He’s just got that swing. I’m pulling for him, and hopefully he can break it.”

One more long ball this year, and Olson will be all alone in Atlanta’s record book.

Olson can set the franchise mark of 52 on Wednesday should he go deep when the Braves play the Philadelphia Phillies and try to clinch their sixth straight NL East title with a victory. Atlanta is already guaranteed a playoff spot.

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