Cubs Linked to Gold Glove Slugger Projected to Land $60 Million Deal

Last season, Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman was a letdown at the plate, hitting.240 with just 17 home runs and 54 RBIs. He did win another Gold Glove in the field, and he has played flawless defense. However, Chapman has also fallen short off the field this winter; he is still a free agent as March approaches. Think of that as a chance for the Chicago Cubs.

Currently, Christopher Morel, a 24-year-old utility player who spent the majority of the previous season as a designated hitter, is being pushed by the Cubs to play third base. Morel’s bat will undoubtedly make its way into the Cubs lineup, but expecting him to play third base for the entire season is a significant ask. Nick Madrigal is expected to abandon the role.

The Cubs require a capable individual to fill the post. Chapman meets all requirements.

According to baseball insider Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Cubs are one of four teams in MLB that have the option to sign Chapman. In a video conversation, Heyman stated, “I think even the Cubs.” They are currently focusing on Morel over there. Without a doubt, if they sign Chapman and pair him with Dansby Swanson, their left side of the infield is excellent.

Matt Chapman and the Cubs Are a Perfect Fit
Like many other Boras clients, Chapman is a client of Scott Boras who has not been able to secure the lucrative new deal they were hoping for since the start of free agency. Heyman actually revealed that Chapman was looking for a $150 million deal. That was never realized.

Cubs potential signee Matt Chapman

Perhaps Chapman is prepared to give up and find a team, even on a relatively cheap deal, much like Cubs slugger Cody Bellinger (another Boras free agent) was worn down over the past few weeks and ultimately agreed to a team-friendly, three-year, $80 million contract with two opt-outs.

According to Bleacher Report, Chapman will likely sign a deal that is similar to Bellinger’s—three years, $60 million, with two options.

“This is the worst-case scenario, of course,” B/R’s Zachary D. Rymer wrote this week. “It’s more reasonable to expect Boras to do for Chapman what he did for Bellinger: try for a smaller multiyear deal with a respectable guarantee and opt-outs galore.”

Top Prospect Being Prepped for 3B Role

The Cubs’ willingness to go for a deal like that would depend on two factors.

The first is whether they think Morel can truly hold down the fort at third base. The hope is he would only have to do it for a year or so, as the team has long-term plans for prospect Matt Shaw to be the answer at third base. It’s just a matter of how long it takes for Shaw to get MLB-ready.

Morel is not a third baseman, but the team is hopeful he can learn the ropes.

As manager Craig Counsell said, per, “To say he can play a lot of positions, yes. We have to play them at a certain level that it makes sense for the bat to be in there, right? And it is harder to play multiple positions – no question about it. At this point, with players around Chris, we’ve asked him to move around. So, I think my idea at the start of camp is to kind of focus mainly on third base.”

The other factor is how serious the team is taking its playoff chances in 2024 after narrowly missing out in 2023. If the goal is truly to win, adding Chapman’s glove pushes them a lot farther along.

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