4 teams that really missed the boat on Matt Chapman bargain buy

These four teams missed out on what could look like one of the biggest bargains of the offseason by letting Matt Chapman sign with the Giants.

Aug 26, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN;  Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman (26) throws to
Aug 26, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman (26) throws to / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
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There was a lot of intrigue entering the offseason around what contract Matt Chapman was going to get. He had established himself as one of the best third basemen in the league, but was coming off of a down year offensively, clearly hurting his value.

Scott Boras held out hope that his client, Chapman, would get the big deal he's been waiting for, but like Cody Bellinger less than one week prior, he'd end up settling for what's deemed as a "pillow contract". He did not get the lengthy nine-figure deal he was expecting, instead, he wound up signing a three-year deal worth $54 million with the San Francisco Giants.

Chapman did well by ensuring he'd have the chance to opt out of the deal after each of the first two seasons, but the Giants only being locked in for three years at most at under a $20 million AAV is outstanding business. These four teams had a chance at getting Chapman at a similar bargain but failed to do so.

4. The Tigers did well to upgrade at third base but could've done even better by signing Matt Chapman

The Detroit Tigers are a team many are deeming a legitimate threat to the Twins in the AL Central. The Tigers won 12 more games this past season (78) than they did in 2022 (66) and have only improved this offseason, bringing in guys like Jack Flaherty, Kenta Maeda, and Mark Canha. They could've arguably made themselves favorites to win MLB's worst division had they signed Matt Chapman to play third base.

Third base was a major issue for the Tigers in 2023, as their third basemen were 28th in the league with a 74 WRC+ and tied for 28th with -1.0 fWAR. Signing Gio Urshela should certainly help, but Chapman is simply a better baseball player.

Urshela has a strong glove at the hot corner, but is not as good defensively as the four-time Gold Glove winner Chapman. Urshela is a better contact hitter than Chapman but does not have close to the same power output.

While Urshela was nearly a .300 hitter last season, he had just a 91 OPS+. Chapman's batting average was and always will be significantly lower, but even in a down year he had a 108 OPS+. The Tigers got Urshela at outstanding value with the $1.5 million deal he signed, but they don't deserve as much credit when they could've gotten Chapman at a pretty great bargain too.