Thursday, February 22 2024

Melvin would welcome Chapman reunion on Giants if ‘it’s a match’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Bob Melvin’s career as both an MLB player and manager spans nearly 40 years and countless connections, including some ties that could benefit the Giants this offseason.

Among those links is free-agent third baseman Matt Chapman, whom Melvin coached on the Oakland Athletics from 2017 to 2021. After Melvin, Chapman and the A’s made three MLB playoff appearance together during those years, could a reunion in San Francisco be in the works?

“One of my favorite players of all time,” Melvin told KNBR’s “Murph and Mac” show Thursday, then joked, “I personally hit him ground balls every day, so I have a couple of Platinum Gloves in my fungo as well as a Gold Glove, too, with him.

“Obviously anybody would love to have a Matt Chapman,” Melvin continued. “We do have quite a few infielders, so we’d have to rearrange some things to bring Matt in. But, you know, it’s a name that’s come up and certainly one I have history with, one that [Giants third base coach] Matt Williams has history with. It’s just a matter of whether or not it’s a match, because he’s going to have a bunch of teams that want his services.”

Chapman turned down his qualifying offer with the Toronto Blue Jays, which would have paid him a guaranteed $20.33 million in 2024, to seek a multi-year contract in free agency after slashing .240/.329/.461 with 17 home runs and a .754 OPS in 2024. As one of only a few position players available this offseason, the 30-year-old infielder’s market will be strong.

Williams, who returns to the Giants organization as part of Melvin’s coaching staff, also was the third base coach in Oakland from 2017 to 2019 and knows Chapman quite well, too. During a conference call with reporters this week, Williams called Chapman the best third baseman he has ever seen, via KNBR’s Danny Emerman.

“He’s one of my favorite players, not because he’s so good, but because of the way he goes about playing the game,” Williams told reporters, via Emerman. “His work ethic is off the charts … And then, of course, the talent. For me anyway, he’s the best I’ve seen at the position.”

Williams lauded the way Chapman approaches the game and said he would be a “welcome addition” to the Giants — a team that is seeking a clubhouse culture shift and could benefit from another veteran presence. Even though San Francisco is stocked full of infielders, as Melvin pointed out, Chapman’s familiarity and past accomplishments under the Giants manager in Oakland could be a recipe for success.

The Giants reportedly are in the mix to sign not only Chapman but other free-agent stars like Cody Bellinger and NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, in addition to their pursuit of Japanese stars Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, as they look to start a new chapter under Melvin. And in his eyes, no name is out of the question.

“I don’t know that there’s anybody we won’t talk to,” Melvin told “Murph and Mac.” “… But I can tell you the names that are being bantered about are the ones that you’re going to want to hear.”

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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