Giants Urged to Replace ‘Lost’ $54 Million 4-Time Gold Glover With Minor Leaguer

Casey Schmitt

Getty Minor league infielder Casey Schmitt could be an option if the San Francisco Giants opt to replace a struggling Matt Chapman

The San Francisco Giants emerged as one of the highest-spending teams this past offseason, dishing out more than $211 million to acquire several marquee free agents. One of the most notable acquisitions was a three-year, $54 million deal for Matt Chapman, a four-time Gold Glove third baseman who has opt outs after each season and plans to use them, as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported.

So far this season, though, that deal has not been paying off for the Giants, as Chapman is slashing just .211/.261/.340. To solve that roster problem, Grant Bisbee of The Athletic has urged the team to replace Chapman with minor leaguer Casey Schmidtt.

“There was a two-week stretch where Schmitt was one of the hottest hitters in the minors, but he’s slumping again, and his OPS is back down around the league average,” Bisbee noted. “That written, Chapman looks lost. Absolutely incapable of hitting a fastball down the middle or a slider off the plate. He had a ghastly finish to last season, too, so I’m not going to attempt to convince you that this is just a phase.”

San Francisco Giants Third Baseman Matt Chapman Has Struggled at the Plate

As Bisbee wrote, Chapman’s concerning offense so far could be a mark of his new norm, rather than a temporary slump. 

In a 2019 season that saw him receive an All-Star bid and MVP votes, he hit .249/.342/.506 with 36 homers and 91 RBI. After his numbers dipped to .240/.330/.424 averages for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2023, though, the long-term deal he was hoping for this past offseason failed to materialize and he accepted a shorter-term, high annual average value (AAV) contract with the Giants. 

His defense, which has always been his calling card as demonstrated by Gold Glove Awards in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2023, has also receded. He has a .941 fielding percentage at third base in 37 starts so far, down from a .968 mark last season.

Schmitt, meanwhile, has slashed .269/.310/.438 with five homers, five steals and 30 RBI in 130 at bats in Triple-A this season. 

However, Chapman’s eight-season MLB pedigree and the sunk cost of $16.6 million salary for this season suggests the Giants will continue to hope for a turnaround from the current starter.

“I can’t imagine a scenario, though, where the Giants would give up on the dream of a typically valuable Chapman season for a dream that Schmitt can handle major-league pitching for the first time in his life,” Brisbee concluded. “Not yet.”

The San Francisco Giants Haven’t Seen Positive Results After Offseason Spending

The conundrum the Giants find themselves in regarding Chapman is emblematic of a disappointing start to the season overall, as other free agent additions in Jorge Soler, Jung Hoo Lee and Blake Snell have all been disappointing so far.

“The San Francisco Giants have spent a lot of money this offseason to revamp their offense,” Russell Dorsey noted for Yahoo! Sports. “Unfortunately, that spending hasn’t translated into success… They need some of those players that they acquired in the offseason to turn things around. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long summer in the Bay.”

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