Matt Chapman has long been thought of as someone New York Mets fans wanted to see implanted at third base across the diamond from Pete Alonso. His days with the Oakland Athletics were impressive. Year one with the Toronto Blue Jays wasn't much different.
A home run hitter with several Gold Glove awards to his name already, what's not to love?
Chapman went into the 2023 season as one of the top offensive players headed to free agency. He leaves it after a year where his home run numbers were at the lowest of any full season in his career, at just 17. What is it that the Mets would be adding to their roster if they consider Chapman worth their time?
Matt Chapman improves one Mets weakness, exacerbates another
His sterling reputation as a top defender hasn’t changed since moving to the Blue Jays. He won yet another Gold Glove this past year. This kind of defense at third base is something the Mets haven’t had since the days of David Wright.
Overall defense of this Mets team looks subpar. Only Francisco Lindor was a Gold Glove finalist. The rest of the team is made up of slightly above average defenders or far worse ones. Chapman would stand out and help give the Mets one of the best left sides of the infield in the game.
Improved defense at third base hardly sells Chapman to the Mets. That’s because his huge strikeout numbers and low OBP totals are sometimes too much. It’s ironic with the walks. He walks more than the average player, but due to his low career batting average of .240, he carries with him only a .329 OBP.
The Mets aren’t an entirely team built on low average guys with poor OBP numbers. Quite the contrary. However, this past year this was a blatant problem. Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor put up spectacular numbers in some regards. Those two spots were where they showed their limp.
Are the Mets improving the offense with another guy who’ll hit below .250 but drive in runs less effectively than Alonso and Lindor? What if he brings the best defense the roster has had in a decade? It doesn’t seem like a strong enough trade off.
Chapman, along with another big bat, could make sense. Him alone feels like the Mets are feeding into what already drowned their chances last year.
The big hiccup in a pursuit of Chapman is because he is one of the handful of players given a qualifying offer, signing him will result in the loss of a draft pick. The Mets have stayed away from players in this spot before. Will it change for them under new management?