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Elephant Rumblings: Reactions to the Matt Chapman trade

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MLB: Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Thursday, Athletics Nation!

It has been only a week since the MLB lockout ended, but for A’s fans the news has seemingly been non-stop. After Chris Bassitt and Matt Olson both got sent to the NL East earlier this week, yesterday morning the Oakland A’s traded Matt Chapman to the Toronto Blue Jays. Leaving Oakland fans with a bit of deja vu, their All-Star third baseman will pack his bags and head to a World Series contender in Canada.

It’s been a hard week for the Athletics faithful as the key members of the last few seasons’ teams have been dispersed across the league, and the pain isn’t likely to stop soon. While we are saying goodbye to a lot of our favourites, it does also mean we get to say hello to a number of new and future A’s. The return for Chapman from the Jays is varied: LHPs Zach Logue and Kirby Snead, infielder Kevin Smith, and 2021 1st-round draft pick Gunnar Hoglund.

Response to the trade across the baseball world has been much more focused on excitement for Vladimir Guererro Jr. to be finally settling in at first base on defense, where he’ll now be fielding putouts across the diamond from Chappy. But there is enough analysis out there of the players gained by the Athletics to form an opinion.

ESPN’s David Schoenfield gave the A’s return a C grade and drew worrying comparisons to the 2014 Josh Donaldson trade saying:

“It’s hard not to go back to the Donaldson trade because the return is so similar... This time, [Beane]’s counting on a pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery. Chapman’s rough season at the plate in 2021 certainly affected his value, but this feels a little light, especially when compared to what the A’s got back in the Olson deal.”

Keith Law from The Athletic also points out the difference in return between the Matts’ trades, adding:

“The A’s did better in the Olson trade, and on the one hand that makes sense given Olson’s superior performance in 2021 to Chapman’s. Chapman plays a more challenging position and, if you think he can hit at all like he did in 2018-19 again, offers way more upside.”

The Athletic’s Jays reporter Kaitlyn McGrath detailed the Jays players’ excitement to welcome Chapman to their team, noting the package given to the A’s is typical of the deals that the Toronto front office likes to put together.

Overall the sentiment seems to be that Chapman’s defensive skill fills a hole the Jays desperately needed, and the overall balance of the trade will come down to how Chapman’s batting goes in Toronto vs how well the three near-MLB ready prospects play out in Oakland.

The S.F. Chronicle’s Matt Kawahara got a chance to chat with Chapman before he left the clubhouse, and the third baseman mirrored many of A’s fan’s frustrations regarding the rhythm of notable Athletics moving on:

“Sometimes it’s hard when you get attached to playing with guys and teams and the fans get disappointed when Olson and Bassitt and me get traded and guys like Marcus (Semien) and Liam (Hendriks) don’t come back. But it’s something they’ve gotten used to and it’s just kind of the filter of guys around here sometimes.”

While the A’s now head to the 2022 season with question marks currently fielding the corners, the start of spring training games tomorrow will help give us an idea of who will succeed Chapman at third. We will miss our Matts dearly, and after a long lockout drought of baseball news over the winter it is very bittersweet to approach a new season with this kind of news. But as we have seen in this cycle a few times now, it won’t be long before we have new A’s favourites in our hearts.

Reactions to the Chapman Trade

Words from Chapman himself

More from Chapman as he heads out

Melissa Lockard on Chappy in A’s history

A’s pitcher James Kaprielian’s first reaction

Casey Pratt cushioning Chapman’s landing

Our own Alex Hall on the Chappy and Donaldson trades

More Chapman coverage:

A’s Coverage

MLB News & Interest

Best of Twitter

A preview of MLB’s upcoming international games

Dave Kaval gives updates on stadium topics

A shortened hot stove season means moves happen fast

A first look at a future A’s catcher Shea Langeliers

Newcomer Cristian Pache looks at-home in green and gold already

Brodie Brazil reminds us that Mr. Beane’s Wild Ride isn’t without its successes

You can never forget about Brett Anderson, he won’t let you.

Doo’s back in DC

Remember that even when there’s bad news, we have baseball games right around the corner