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Chicago Cubs ‘looking at’ Jays free agent Matt Chapman

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Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
2 months ago
The Chicago Cubs have reportedly expressed interest in signing Matt Chapman at the hot corner, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported Monday.
Heyman said the Cubs were “looking at” Chapman, but that the club was waiting on decisions from Shohei Ohtani, who they reportedly have fallen out of the race for, and Cody Bellinger.
The Cubs ran an array of players at third base last year, including Nick Magridal, Miles Mastrobuoni, Patrick Wisdom and Jeimer Candelario, a deadline addition. While Chapman’s bat was red hot to start the year earning AL Player of the Month for April, it cooled extensively as the season wore on.
Still, Chapman’s defensive abilites continued to be among the best in the bigs. His FanGraphs defensive rating of 5.9 was sixth among 170 qualified players, while his offence still ranked 10th, ahead of other third basemen in Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado and Ke’Bryan Hayes. Among 112 qualified fielders at any position, his 12 defensive runs saved ranked 13th, and third among third-basemen.
Amid a market light on third-baseman, Chapman still sits atop the pack, but any team signing him would need to sacrifice a draft pick, as the Jays had issued him a qualifying offer.
The Jays had met with Chapman in early November and reportedly saw him as a “priority,” with interest in a muli-year pact. This, however, came well before the club was seriously linked to Shohei Ohtani — a player the Jays appear to be in the mix for, along with the LA Dodgers.
Time will tell how the Jays off-season shakes out, but the club will still need to fill the spot at third base for this season, if they’re unable to bring Chapman back into the fold.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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