Matt Chapman is one of the best third basemen in baseball, but is it time for the Oakland A’s to trade him?
Entering Friday, the Oakland A’s are defying the odds again with a 26-19 record that has them a half-game behind the Houston Astros in the AL West. Hampered by a low budget playing in the worst venue in the major pro sports, tough decisions on players before they get expensive regularly land on the front office’s plate.
Matt Chapman is one of the best third basemen in baseball. He’s a two-time Gold Glover, with an average of 34 home runs and 89 RBI per 162 games from 2017-2019. He’s not off to the best all-around start at the plate this year (.222, .704 OPS, five home runs and 19 RBI), but a more typical stat line will surely come.
As with any star player the A’s have, trade speculation is not that far from Chapman’s name. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com solicited questions for his Friday mailbag on Twitter and was asked if the A’s would trade Chapman during the season or if he could be moved in the offseason.
Would the Oakland A’s trade Matt Chapman?
The idea of the Athletics trading one of their stars as they approach prime arbitration years is certainly not a foreign one, but I think that would be more of an offseason possibility.
Chapman has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining, so the A’s can continue to go year-to-year before they risk losing him in free agency. The price will go up each year, likely to at least double what he’s making this year by 2023, which may be a consideration for Oakland too.
The A’s should be in buying mode unless they completely fall out of contention between now and the trade deadline. Come the offseason, trading Chapman would become more palatable as Oakland charts a path forward and possibly starts extension talks with Chapman’s agent.