MLB trade news: Blue Jays acquire Matt Chapman from rebuilding Athletics

Matt Chapman Blue Jays
Matt Chapman
D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays are doing everything in their power to keep up with the big boys of the American League East as they have reportedly acquired two-time Platinum Glove-winning third baseman Matt Chapman from the Oakland Athletics, as first reported by former MLB infielder Carlos Baerga (h/t Jon Morosi).

The firesale continues for the Athletics, who in recent days have dealt All-Star starting pitcher Chris Bassitt to the New York Mets and slugging first baseman Matt Olson to the Atlanta Braves. This after losing the likes of Starling Marte and Mark Canha in free agency before the lockout — both of whom also signed with the Mets.

As has been the case for the A’s throughout the offseason, they are taking only prospects back in return for Chapman, per Morosi.

While he’s one of the best defensive third basemen in all of Major League Baseball, Chapman will also provide another bit of pop toward the bottom of the Blue Jays’ lineup.

He hit a career-best 36 home runs in 2019 and followed it up with 27 in 2021 despite posting a career-worst .210 average. Toronto will be hoping that mark is an anomaly for a player who had a .255 career average over his first four MLB seasons.

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At just 28 years old, though, Chapman is just the latest young player set to be a fixture in a promising ballclub.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — who will likely spend most of his time at DH if Toronto can make one more big splash and pull off a signing of first baseman Freddie Freeman — turned 23 on Wednesday. Second baseman Cavan Biggio is 26 and shortstop Bo Bichette just turned 24 last week.

Add that to a core that also features George Springer in center field and Jose Berrios leading the rotation, and Toronto suddenly has a dangerous-looking team in the uber-competitive American League East. This for a team that went 91-71 last year and still missed the playoffs, finishing fourth in the division behind the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees.