Manny Machado re-signs with the San Diego Padres, and what this could mean for Matt Chapman and the Toronto Blue Jays

Matt Chapman is going to make a lot of money after the 2023 season.

According to Jeff Passan, the San Diego Padres are signing third baseman Manny Machado to an 11-year, $350 million deal. Notably, this will remove the player option he had for the 2023-2024 off-season.

BREAKING: Star third baseman Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres are finalizing an 11-year, $350 million contract extension, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Machado helped turn around the franchise. He’ll stay as the ascendant Padres seek their first championship.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 26, 2023

Why does this affect the Jays? Well, Matt Chapman is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2023 season, and an already weak position player class has only gotten weaker, especially at third base.
According to this MLB Trade Rumours article, Chapman and Machado were the only two significant third basemen set to be available. Justin Turner (player option), Joey Wendle, Gio Urshela, and Brian Anderson are… fine, but they aren’t stars.
If a team wishes to upgrade the hot corner through free agency, their best bet is Chapman, which kind of puts the Jays in a tough spot.
It’s been said that Chapman loves Toronto and wishes to remain a Blue Jay, but as one of the best free agents available, could the Jays muster up the payroll to re-sign him? Likely not.
So jumping ahead an entire season to the next off-season, what would the Jays do? For starters, Chapman will surely get a qualifying offer as he’s a fantastic player. This means the Jays would be entitled to a compensation pick in the 2024 draft if he signs elsewhere. Of course, the Jays could always find a way to extend him before free agency, but with Scott Boras as …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

News and Notes: Matt Chapman is taking a wait-and-see approach to free agency, Orioles owner says team has “overachieved,” and more!

Matt Chapman is in line for a huge payday this winter.

He’s entering the second season of the two-year, $25 million contract that he inked with the Blue Jays last March after he was acquired in a trade with the Oakland A’s and he’ll be eligible to hit the open market as a free agent for the first time in his career once it’s finished.
There isn’t much doubt that Chapman will get paid. The question is who’s going to be paying him.
Might it be the Blue Jays? Chapman spoke with Gregor Chisholm of The Toronto Star over the weekend and said that he would be interested in sticking around with the team but his plan has always been to play out his two-year contract and see what happens…
“I know the Blue Jays enjoy having me here and want to continue having me here,” Chapman said. “I know I want to continue to be here and be a part of this team. I’m sure conversations will be had along the way but, when I signed that two-year deal, I was anticipating they would have to pay Bo and Vladdy and all these young guys.
“So, I wasn’t sure what to expect, I was excited to get out of the arbitration system, not have to worry about that and I felt fortunate to have some security. I kind of always anticipated playing out …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Right-hander Matt Svanson talks about Lehigh University, being drafted by the Blue Jays, and offseason goals

A product of Lake Zurich, Illinois, right-hander Matt Svanson followed in his parent’s footsteps following his time at Lake Zurich High School and decided to take his talents to Lehigh University, situated in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
“My parents are alumni’s there and I have family that still lives in that area, so I was introduced to the program and the campus early. I committed early to Lehigh also because of their academics and everything took off baseball-wise after that.”
Through four years with the Mountain Hawks, Svanson pitched to a 4.49 ERA through 38 games (22 starts), striking out 113 batters compared to 61 walks, finishing with a 1.469 WHIP. In his senior season, the right-hander made 12 starts (one relief appearance) and pitched a career-high 70.1 innings while also leading the team and the league with his 2.30 ERA, amassing an 8.3 K/9 with a 1.194 WHIP. Svanson became the team’s second starter behind Mason Black (Giants third-round selection in 2019) and earned First Team All-Patriot League honours.
Speaking on his time at Lehigh, Svanson talked about his last year with the program, “My whole senior year was great, my last college outing, I went eight and a third innings and threw 135 pitches in Game 2 of the cham …

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Author: Tyson Shushkewich / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays’ Matt Chapman provided exceptional defense, but it wasn’t enough to win the American League third base gold glove

Matt Chapman didn’t win the American League Gold Glove for third base, but should he have?

To put it simply, I don’t think he was snubbed, and here’s why.
In 2022, Chapman finished with a 2 Defensive Runs Saved and a 1 Outs Above Average in 1344.1 innings fielded. While defensive metrics aren’t the sole factor in determining a good defender (the eye test should also be used), they are very important in deciding the Gold Glove winner, and Chapman’s decline in defense is interesting.
In 2021, Chapman had a 10 DRS and 17 OAA, with the latter being a career high, which led to him winning the 2021 Gold Glove for the position. What’s with the decline? I have a litany of theories, such as the lack of foul ground and the turf playing a factor, but the eye test tells me and everyone else that Chapman had a good year.
Let’s compare that to the winner, Baltimore’s Ramon Urias won the award. He finished with a 14 DRS and a 7 OAA in 769.1 innings fielded at the position. While he had a smaller sample size, both DRS and OAA are accumulating stats, meaning that with more innings, it’s likely that Urias’ numbers would be even better. As for the eye test, I couldn’t tell you. I don’t go out of my way to watch Baltimore Oriole games.
What happened with the other Blue Jays nominees? 
As y …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

TLN Prospect #1: Matthew Knies wreaks havoc as a new breed power forward

The rise of Matt Knies has truly been a sight to behold over the past year.
Entering the 2021-22 season, expectations were fairly muted for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ top pick from the 2021 draft. He wasn’t a significant faller in the draft, having been projected to go in the range in which the Leafs selected him, and slotted a modest seventh on last summer’s TLN Prospect Rankings.
Knies was a notable break from previous Toronto selections, listed at 6-foot-3 and over 200 pounds, but there wasn’t major hype surrounding him heading into the season. That changed pretty quickly.
Matt Knies’ emergence as a borderline dominant presence in the NCAA as a freshman vaults him to the top spot on the TLN Prospect Rankings.
Matt Knies
LW | Minnesota (Big Ten) | Age: 19 | 6-foot-3 | 210 lbs | Shoots: LAcquired: 2021 Draft, 57th Overall | 2021 Ranking: #7
Before we get into the breakdown of Matt Knies’ game and why he is TLN’s top prospect, it’s important to understand the context of his draft-eligible season and why he was available in the back half of the second round.
For a full deep dive into this topic, I covered it last summer as an intriguing storyline heading into the year. Essentially, Knies was significantly impacted in the first half of the 2020-21 season by COVID. He dealt with the virus himself and his team, Tri-City, also had an uncertain schedule that was in c …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs goaltending is a question mark, just like every other year

Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov — your Maple Leafs goaltending tandem on opening night — are you ready for it?
It’s been an interesting week for Toronto, first trading away Petr Mrazek to Chicago at the draft and moving down a few picks. Many knew it was going to be a slim goaltending market with Jack Campbell likely headed to Edmonton, but I don’t know if anyone saw the Maple Leafs going out and getting Murray right before free agency began.
The same for Samsonov on Wednesday — Toronto didn’t know he was going to be a free agent until a few days prior to July 13th. The 25-year-old pretty much fell into their lap. Now, the question is, can one of them, or maybe even both of them, turn out to be a good pickup?
If you were watching TSN’s goaltending panel on Wednesday, you know what they all thought. This is going to be a disaster.
The fact of the matter, though, is that it likely won’t be a calamity. Both netminders are coming into this organization with something to prove. Samsonov, to show that he can return to the form he had when he entered the NHL. Murray, to prove that he’s not injury prone and that he can make it …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

What the Matt Murray trade is and isn’t

The Matt Murray trade was doomed to poor reviews from the very beginning. For starters, Matt Murray has been injury prone and struggled since his final year in Pittsburgh leading to some truly unfortunate time in Ottawa, especially if you primarily looking at his save percentage as the best measure of success for him. Until word of Murray to Toronto became a thing and there was a need to justify his numbers, there probably weren’t too many Leafs fans that viewed Matt as their first choice for manning the net this season. It gets more complicated when the return and retention offered to Buffalo at the draft exceeds what Toronto received. The Leafs don’t have a bargain goaltender, no matter who your guy was, Murray isn’t it, and it all feels very reactionary to a goaltending market that has caved in over the past couple of days. You don’t need to like it, but the good news is that if healthy, Matt Murray seemingly offers a lot more than Jack Campbell did.
About a month ago I compared some numbers of rumoured Leafs targets to their incumbent goaltenders. Matt Murray fared pretty well…


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation