Athletics

Chapman gets paid as A's avoid arbitration with six players

Athletics

The A's officially agreed to terms with Matt Chapman, Mark Canha and four other arbitration-eligible players, the team announced Friday.

The group includes the trio of Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas and Chris Bassitt -- three crucial core members of the A's rotation come 2021 -- and right-handed reliever Lou Trivino.

MLB teams and players had until Friday at 10 a.m. PT to agree on a salary for 2021, or offer differing figures to table until a hearing in the spring. Given the truncated 2020 season and subsequent loss of income, a flurry of moves was expected in the morning, with both sides eager to avoid hearings. However, it also made it difficult to gauge where each player's salary could range. 

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In Chapman's case, that resulted in a major payday. Chapman and the A's reportedly avoided arbitration by settling on $6.49 million, according to FanSided's Robert Murray. This is a substantial raise from Chapman's 2020 figure of $623,500.

The already shortened season, combined with season-ending hip surgery in September, limited Chapman to just 37 games and a career-low .232/.276/.535 slash line. Still, there's really no debate when it comes to his remarkable résumé over the last four years in Oakland. The 27-year-old has cemented himself at the hot corner as a premiere defensive player, winning back-to-back Platinum Gloves in 2018 and '19. 

While Chapman isn't eligible for free agency until 2023 and a potential longer deal could be figured out by then, it seems the two sides could come together for just the one-year deal for the two-time Gold Glover. Beware though, if Chapman continues his impressive trend (and he likely will), his stock and price tag will continue to raise.

 

Canha and the A's reportedly settled on $6,925,000 in the 31-year-old's final year of arbitration. It's a considerable raise for Canha over his $4.8 million in 2020. 2019 was Canha's best year, ripping 112 hits in a career-high 121 games. He played in all but one of the A's games last season, posting a .246/.387/.408 line, and given his versatility, should continue being a key player as the A's push for their fourth-straight postseason berth. 

Originally expected to be a reliable relief option, Bassitt emerged in 2020 as one of the A's top starters -- and the league's. His 2.27 ERA over 11 starts led to the third-lowest in the AL, and he headlined the A's rotation in the division series against the Houston Astros. Now in his second arbitration-eligible year, Bassitt was able to avoid a hearing and reportedly land a comfy $4.8 million, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman. That's a huge jump compared to his $2.25 million figure last season.

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Murray also reported a $5.95 million settlement with lefty Manaea and a $1.8 million settlement with right-hander Frankie Montas. Manaea's deal is a sizable bump from his $3.75 million in 2020. He's poised for a bounce-back season in 2021, and the A's are hopeful Montas can do the same. Manaea will turn 29 in February, but he isn't eligible for free agency until 2023. Montas, 27, accrued the necessary amount of service time and is in his first year of arbitration eligibility. 

Heyman reported Trivino's settlement at $912,500, plus possible incentives. The 29-year-old has become one of the A's most trusted options out of the bullpen. In 20 appearances last season, the righty notched a 3.86 ERA and averaged a clean 10 strikeouts-per-nine innings ratio. With former closer Liam Hendriks now on the Chicago White Sox, Trivino could be considered in-house as an option to replace him. 

Chad Pinder, Tony Kemp and Burch Smith were also arbitration-eligible, but their respective parties were able to negotiate early. Both Pinder and Smith signed one-year deals in December. Pinder has proven himself as a super-utility option for the club and will have one more year of arbitration eligibility before being set to be a free agent in 2023. Smith owned a 2.25 ERA in six appearances in his first year with Oakland. Kemp was a key defensive player in the A's 2020 campaign, and signed a one-year deal in early December, along with first-year arbitration-eligible Matt Olson.