Chicago Cubs listed as a fit for this Gold Glove third baseman

Free-agent third baseman Matt Chapman was listed as the perfect free agent option for the Chicago Cubs considering their need at the hot corner.
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

With the top of the mountain in MLB free agency at a standstill, until Shohei Ohtani signs a contract this winter, we tend to overlook how many viable free agents out there could help the Chicago Cubs in 2024. On Monday, Mark Feinsand of MLB dot com released an article stating who he believes would be the perfect fit for each team. When it came to the Cubs, he landed on third base star Matt Chapman, saying the Cubs have multiple outfield prospects but no one set to take over at 3B.

"The Cubs are deep in outfield prospects, but there’s no internal answer coming at the hot corner. Jeimer Candelario is a free agent, so Chicago could look to upgrade the spot with the best third baseman on the market."

Mark Feinsand

Chapman as a target is an interesting option that needs to be discussed. Feinsand did forget to mention the Cubs have Matt Shaw, four months removed from college, already in the top 100 prospects list according to MLB Pipeline. So, it's not as if the Cubs don't have a prospect who may be getting ready to take the reins at third base, but Chapman on a long-term deal is still the safer option, given how established he is at the MLB level already.

Still, I expect Shaw's rapid ascension up the ranks to make the Cubs think twice about inking Chapman. With Nico Hoerner and Dansby Swanson locked up, Shaw essentially becomes blocked and trade bait immediately if the Cubs also sign a long-term third baseman. However, Chapman himself, with four Gold Glove awards to his credit, really isn't the offensive juggernaut that could solve all the Cubs' problems.

Chapman slashed just .240/.330/.424 with 17 HRs and 54 RBIs in 2023. Since 2020, his average slash sits at just .226/.319/.430. There was a considerable drop-off in Chapman's production after the first month of the 2023 season but that is something that teams will need to weigh against the Gold Glove defense he also provides at third base.

Understandably, the Cubs desperately need an upgrade at third base, and I may be biased when it comes to Shaw, but the Cubs can ill-afford to make the wrong move this winter, and signing Chapman to a long-term deal may prove troublesome for years to come. His lack of offense is not worth it, in my opinion.

The Latest Cubs News & Rumors:

feed