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Giants finally land their man in Matt Chapman: reports

Evan Webeck, Bay Area News Group on

Published in Baseball

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It took until the 116th day of free agency, but one of the most obvious pairings from day one finally came to fruition.

The San Francisco Giants agreed to terms late Friday night with third baseman Matt Chapman on a three-year contract that includes two opt-outs, according to multiple reports, making one of their biggest splashes of the offseason almost halfway through spring training by bringing in the 30-year-old Platinum Glove winner on a discount deal.

Immediately supplanting J.D. Davis as the starting third baseman, Chapman will reportedly earn $20 million in 2024, $18 million in 2025 and $16 million in 2026 — a total potential value of $54 million — but will have the ability to opt out after each season.

The club has not announced the deal.

Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations, was adamant about addressing the defensive issues that led to his club committing 13 more errors than any other team last season, and few free agents fit the mold better than Chapman, who has four times been named the best third baseman in his league and twice the best fielder in the entire sport.

Never playing fewer than 140 games over a full season, Chapman immediately becomes the Giants’ opening day third baseman and should be expected to be a stabilizing force in the lineup day in and day out. He will be one of three members of the projected starting lineup, along with Michael Conforto and fellow free-agent addition Jorge Soler, to hit 30 home runs in a season — a milestone that has eluded Giants hitters since 2004.

 

What that means for Davis, the incumbent at the hot corner and one of the hottest hitters early in camp, is a move to the bench or, given that the Giants already possess a right-handed hitting reserve corner infielder in Wilmer Flores, another team.

In Chapman, the Giants are getting a player with more experience under their new manager, Bob Melvin, than anyone else in the clubhouse.

The A’s first-round pick in 2014 (and Zaidi’s final draft as their general manager), Chapman debuted in 2017 and played his first five seasons in the majors under Melvin — and new third base coach Matt Williams — in Oakland, earning his lone All-Star selection and three of his Gold Glove trophies. A few months after Melvin took the managerial job in San Diego, Chapman was traded to Toronto, where he hasn’t been quite the same offensive force he was in Oakland.

Waiting out every other top position player on the market, the contract negotiated by his agent, Scott Boras, was considerably smaller than what was projected at the outset of the offseason.

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