Matt Chapman’s days with the Blue Jays aren’t officially done yet, but they are certainly on borrowed time despite a formality transaction on Monday afternoon.
The Jays did as expected and officially extended a qualifying offer to the recently crowned Gold Glove third baseman for the 2024 season. All signs point to Chapman declining that offer of $20.4 million U.S. which will send him to free agency.
The Jays have likely been well aware of Chapmans intentions and can certainly negotiate to bring him back on a multi-year deal. But by serving up the qualifying offer, they lock up a draft pick later than the fourth round in the 2024 draft from whatever team signs him.
The probable exit of Chapman certainly creates a huge hole on that stellar Toronto defence which will be a priority for general manager Ross Atkins to address this winter.
Officially, Chapman has a week to accept or reject the offer even though the decision seems a formality. Even though he struggled at the plate for much of 2023, Chapman is expected to be one of the more sought after players in a weak free agent class, a status that will get amplified through his representation by super agent, Scott Boras.
Meanwhile, in a separate transaction, the Jays landing some pitching depth by acquiring lefty Brendon Little from the Cubs in exchange for cash considerations. Little was subsequently selected to the 40-man roster, as was right-hander Mitch White.
After failing to cut it with the Jays in 2023, White was demented to triple-A Buffalo where he appeared in 18 games with the Bisons. In 13 starts and 59 innings pitched, White recorded a 1-2 record with a 5.19 ERA.
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