A’s third baseman Matt Chapman is really good at baseball. That could complicate things down the line.
The two-time Platinum Glove Award winner and 2019 All-Star is one of the best third basemen in the game, and according to his agent, Scott Boras, he should be treated as such.
Boras spoke to The Athletic’s Alex Coffey about how MLB's shortened 60-game season could pertain to Chapman and his upcoming arbitration process. If this were a normal 162-game year, the A's star could have been paid anywhere from $10-12 million via arbitration or with an agreement with the team.
But Chapman, playing on a minimum contract, just has adjusted season salary of $230,926, according to Spotrac.
Yes, the guy who led all of baseball with 32 Defensive Runs Saved last season is making that little. This is the same guy who carries a .920 OPS this season after accumulating 8.3 WAR in 2018 and 2019.
It’s no secret he wants to get paid, and it’s even less of a secret he needs to get paid.
“Matt’s a star player,” Boras told Coffey. “He’s a franchise player. The right of arbitration means more to franchise players than anybody, no doubt.”
Boras also made it a point to list other prominent third basemen in the league. And there are plenty. Colorado Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado, a childhood friend of Chapman, has an adjusted salary of almost $13 million this year.
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It’s the same story for the Kris Bryants and Alex Bregmans of the world, who will be making eight figures per year under their current contracts.
The A’s have spoken for years about building a new stadium, which would then allow the team to spend more money on their players. But Boras believes the stadium itself is secondary to Chapman.
“You build the stadium,” he said, “and then it’s ready to start. But you forgot to plant the grass. So you build the stadium, it’s beautiful, but you look at the field and you forgot to plant the grass. The grass is the players. Now you’ve got a beautiful stadium and you’ve got no grass. No one wants to go watch it. The players have to precede the stadium. That’s the rule.”
Chapman will be a free agent after the 2023 season, which might seem far off in the distance right now, but we know quickly these things go by.
He wants to stay with Oakland and A’s fans want nothing more than for that to happen. While the pandemic threw a wrench in more than just the game itself, it's still yet to be determined what his future might be in Oakland.