Blue Jays and the newly acquired third baseman Matt Chapman Avoid arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $25 million contract, ESPN’s Jeff Bassan Reports. The deal ends Chapman’s last two refereeing seasons, but does not extend FC Toronto’s hold on Platinum Glover twice. Chapman, a Boras client, will receive a $1 million signing bonus and $12 million in back-to-back salaries in the deal, Tweets John Heyman of the MLB Network.
MLBTR contributor Matt Schwartz predicted Chapman would earn $9.5 million next season, and would have had one additional raise in 2023 before hitting free agency in the 2023-24 season. Taking that $9.5 million into account, Chapman’s $25 million guarantee actually puts a price tag of $14.5 million on the third-time referee’s salary, which looks well within the field of reasonable results.
The new contract doesn’t change much in terms of Chapman’s outlook, although it does give him some financial security in the event of a major injury or further downturn in the board. Meanwhile, the Jays have had some certainty about the payroll not just for this season but also in 2023 – and they’re also avoiding the need to devote any time or resources to refereeing talks with Chapman next winter.
Acquired last week in a deal that sent prospects Gunnar Hoglund, Kevin Smith, Zach Lugo and Kirby Snead to Auckland, Chapman heads to Toronto in search of a return to 2018-19’s best player level on the board. A thigh injury in 2020 shortened Chapman’s season and eventually required surgery. He returned to play a full slate of 151 games in 2021, but while Chapman played 27 home games and played his usual brand of excellent defense in a hot corner, his overall production on the board declined as hit rate rose. It’s certainly possible that the 2019 All-Star Championship wasn’t 100% last season, and he will now set out to prove that that is the case without having to spend a lot of time thinking about his contractual status.
Chapman’s new $12 million salary raises the expected Blue Jays salary to around $170 million, According to Jason Martinez of List Resourcesand gives them about $190 million in luxury tax liabilities. That would create a new franchise track record in terms of actual payroll, though Jays are still about $40 million shy of the new $230 million luxury tax threshold.
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