The Toronto Blue Jays have made another big post-lockout move, trading for third baseman Matt Chapman with the Oakland Athletics the team announced on Wednesday.
The A's will get a handful of highly touted prospects in return, highlighted by Gunnar Hoglund, a 2021 first-round pick and the Blue Jays' No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Infielder Kevin Smith and left-handed pitchers Zach Logue and Kirby Snead are also part of the package.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 16, 2022
Chapman, 28, is fresh off his third Gold Glove season in addition to 27 home runs, 72 RBIs and .716 OPS in 2021. The right-handed hitter's outstanding defence and power mostly make up for a 32.5 percent strikeout rate last season.
He's arbitration eligible for another two years and slated to become a free agent after the 2023 season.
Chapman was a first-round pick by the A's in 2014, making the big-leagues three years later and earning MVP votes in three out of five seasons to add to his three Gold Gloves and one Platinum Glove. He was an AL All-Star in 2019.
The move will likely put an end to speculation regarding the Blue Jays' pursuit of free agent first baseman Freddie Freeman, a 12-year MLB vet and World Series champion with the Atlanta Braves last year. Freeman is slated to hit the open market after the Braves made a deal with none other than the A's to acquire infielder Matt Olson, whom Atlanta signed to an eight-year extension right after the trade.
The Jays had also been linked to outfielder Kyle Schwarber, who reportedly signed with the Philadelphia Phillies shortly after Toronto's trade for Chapman on Wednesday.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 16, 2022
Oakland, on the other hand, added to its busy stretch after having already traded away stars like Olson and starting pitcher Chris Bassitt — who now joins the New York Mets — since the league's lockout ended on March 10.
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