The Athletics infield is comfortably anchored with Matt Chapman holding it down at third base and Matt Olson taking first base responsibilities.
A’s fans keep their fingers crossed on whether these two superstar-caliber players will receive contract extensions to keep them in Oakland for the long term.
And while the duo won’t be free agents until after the 2023 season, it’s often asked of the front office what their futures hold.
“Let’s not jump too far, free agency’s still two years away,” A’s general manager David Forst told NBC Sports California on Wednesday, smiling. “You say that and I start to shake.”
“We still got a few seasons until free agency, but look, anytime players enter arbitration, they start making the money they are, free agency’s going to be on everybody’s mind, you’ve got two superstars: Gold Glove, Platinum Glove, 30-plus homers, I mean these are the kinds of guys that you look at, you develop in your system and you’re like ‘Hey, the whole reason to do this is to keep guys like that in Oakland,’ without getting too much into the [new] ballpark conversation and that stuff that [A’s president] Dave Kaval is working day and night on. Those are the reasons you do that,” Forst said.
“You look to a new ballpark, you look to change the operation here, you look to keep Matt Chapman and Matt Olson in green and gold.”
The two were brought up together in the minor leagues and created special chemistry that shows across the diamond. Chapman’s a 2019 All-Star selection with two Platinum and Gold Glove Awards while Olson holds two Gold Gloves of his own.
The last time the A’s gave an impressionable extension to a player was designated hitter Khris Davis, who signed a two-year contract agreement back in April of 2019. He has since been traded to the Texas Rangers, but it painted a glimmer of hope for A’s faithful to see others stick in Oakland for a while.
Forst is more than aware of the talks and has been in touch with Olson and Chapman themselves and their agents about it.
“It’s a constant topic of conversation,” Forst said. "Anytime I touch base with their agents or really anytime you’re casually talking with them, you know that’s where the conversation turns: ‘What can we do beyond ‘23 to keep these guys around?’ There have been times where we’ve had more substantial conversations than others, but it’s never far from anybody’s mind and as much as any A’s fan, I want to see those guys here long term.”