When the Blue Jays sent a significant haul of prospects to the Athletics in exchange for Matt Chapman’s services, the idea was that he was going to be around to help them remain competitive in the AL East for at least a little while. However, one small wrinkle in the process of integrating him into Toronto’s organization was that he is an arbitration eligible player and had a chance at being a pretty expensive one at that.
Normally on days like today, we see players reach an agreement on a one year deal to avoid arbitration or the two sides just exchange figures and wait for a hearing to decide. However, we do occasional see longer deals announced like the one we have today.
Third baseman Matt Chapman and the Toronto Blue Jays are in agreement on a two-year, $25 million contract extension, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 22, 2022
Realistically, Chapman may be doing the Blue Jays a solid by agreeing to this two year deal which effectively buys out the last two years of arbitration eligibility he has left. Sure, Chapman gets some financial security that protects him on the off chance that he has a bad year. However, there is also a decent or better chance that he would have gotten more in arbitration if he just performed as expected.
That said, it doesn’t matter all THAT much since this doesn’t impact when he is expected to hit free agency and financial security is a real consideration for a lot of players. The Blue Jays can now also budget for this year and next with some more accuracy and based on how aggressive they have been this offseason, that could pay dividends down the road.