Mariners ‘Have Discussed’ Adding Matt Chapman As Free Agency Saga Drags On

Matt Chapman

Getty Matt Chapman

Spring training is underway, Opening Day is in just over five weeks on March 28, and ex-Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman is still unsigned. Alongside slugger Cody Bellinger and pitchers Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery, Chapman is one of agent Scott Boras’s top available clients this winter, but despite hot markets and ongoing hype, all four players remain free agents.

But that could change at any time. According to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, Chapman is still receiving interest from teams, with the Seattle Mariners having “discussed the possibility” of signing the four-time Gold Glove Award-winner before 2024.

“The Mariners have discussed the possibility of adding Chapman to fill the starting third-base spot previously held by Eugenio Suarez,” Divish reported on February 17. “The Mariners’ current plan is to use a platoon of utility infielders Luis Urias and Josh Rojas at the position. Neither is considered to be optimal options from a defensive standpoint, while their combined offensive contribution is uncertain.”

If the Mariners are looking for defensive strength, they need look no further than Chapman. The four-time Gold Glove (2018, 2019, 2021, 2023) and two-time Platinum Glove (2018, 2019) winner is one of the best third basemen is MLB, even if his offensive performance could be improved.

Last season with the Blue Jays, Chapman slashed .240/.330/.424 with 17 home runs and 54 RBIs, though he still managed to lead the team in doubles (39) and rank third in OPS (.754). Despite relatively mediocre states, Chapman can generate power, which the Mariners could use in the middle of their lineup.

Mariners’ Offseason Moves

This winter, the Mariners have been quietly bolstering their roster for 2024, but they’re yet to make much of a splash in free agency.

The Mariners’ only major-league free agent signings this offseason have been catcher Mitch Garver (two years, $24 million) and Austin Voth (one year, $1.25 million), though in the last two months, the team has also acquired second baseman Jorge Polanco, outfielders Mitch Haniger and Luke Raley, and reliever Gregory Santos via trades.

Chapman’s Projected Contract Value

On December 18, 2023, The Athletic’s Tim Britton and Aaron Gleeman projected Chapman would be looking at a five-year, $95 million deal out of free agency this winter. In the same realm, Sportrac projects Chapman will land a six-year, $103 million contract.

While there’s no word on whether Chapman would be open to a shorter contract with a similar average annual value, that’s not been Boras’s style when it comes to finding deals for his clients.’s Todd Zolecki reported that the Philadelphia Phillies were interested in signing Montgomery on a short-term deal, “but he isn’t ready to sign for that,” and the USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that Snell rejected a five-year, $150 million contract with the New York Yankees because it didn’t meet his asking value.

If the Mariners were to offer a short-term deal, perhaps a two- or three-year contract with opt-outs after each season, Chapman’s asking AAV would still be high. Should that sort of deal be publicly on the table, the Mariners risk other teams swooping in to outbid them, which is highly likely considering the team’s conservative spending strategies this offseason.

Still, third base is a relatively weak spot in the Mariners’ roster and adding Chapman would be a definite upgrade. If Chapman is open to a shorter-term deal — and he can get Boras on board — a deal with Seattle makes a lot of sense. The team may have to loosen their belts, though.

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