Free Agent Profile: Jeimer Candelario is among the Blue Jays’ replacement options if Matt Chapman doesn’t re-sign

Ryley Delaney
5 months ago
With Matt Chapman potentially leaving in free agency this winter to sign a big-ticket contract, the Toronto Blue Jays will likely need to look elsewhere for a third baseman.
In this series, we look at free agents who the Jays could have an interest in as free agency continues. We’ve already covered 10 players, which you can find at the bottom of the article. Let’s take a look at Jeimer Candelario.

Jeimer Candelario’s 2023:

Candelario spent time between the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs in 2023 after the Detroit Tigers cut him loose following the 2022 season. Altogether, he had a .251/.336/.471 slash line with a career-high 22 home runs in 576 plate appearances. His 117 wRC+ was the third-highest mark of his career, and his 3.3 fWAR was the second-highest he’s ever posted. 
For his career, Candelario is slashing .243/.325/.414 with 88 home runs in 3036 plate appearances. He has a 9.6 BB% and a 23.5 K%, along with a 102 wRC+ and an 11.5 fWAR across his eight years in the big leagues. 
Defensively, Candelario isn’t great. This past season, the 29-year-old had a -5 Defensive Runs Saved and a 2 Outs Above Average at third base. For his career, he has a -24 DRS and 1 OAA in 5421.1 innings at the position. He’s either below average or slightly above average, depending on what metric you use.

Jeimer Candelario’s contract:

Although Candelario would be a downgrade from Matt Chapman both defensively and offensively, he would be significantly cheaper as well. During the GM Meetings earlier this week, it was reported by Jon Heyman that Chapman is looking for a contract worth around $150,000,000, which is likely a hard pass from the Jays. 
But what about Candelario? Well, according to Jim Bowden’s prediction article in The Athletic, he assumes Candelario will have a contract for two seasons at $15 million, at an average annual value of $7.5 million a season. Bowden also links the 29-year-old third baseman to the Blue Jays. MLB Trade Rumors also believe the Blue Jays could be a suitor for Candelario, but they have him signing a four-year, $70 million deal, which is $17.5 million a season. The latter is a lot less enticing.

Is Jeimer Canderlario a fit for the Blue Jays:

If Matt Chapman truly wants $150,000,000, the Jays will have to look elsewhere for a third baseman. In the free agency market, Candelario is likely the best option. However, the Blue Jays have a few internal options that could fill the hole, such as Addison Barger and Orelvis Martinez. 
At the end of the day, it comes down to how much Candelario would want. If he wants a contract similar to Bowden’s projection, sign that deal yesterday. However, if he wants a contract similar to the MLB Trade Rumor projection, I can’t imagine the Blue Jays being comfortable dishing out that amount of cash. The internal depth means they don’t have to overpay for a mid-level free agent. 

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.



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