The Oakland Athletics have likely seen their window of contention slam shut. The franchise that has been known to save every nickel they can in the last 25+ years is doing it again. And the Colorado Rockies could benefit from the A’s closing their window.
The A’s have been to the playoffs a lot in recent years (six times since 2012) but they have zero World Series wins, appearances, or even ALCS appearances to show for it. In fact, in the “Billy Beane era”, the A’s have been to one (count them: 1) ALCS, where they were promptly swept by the 2006 Detroit Tigers. The last time they were in the ALCS before that, the Colorado Rockies had not played a single game in their franchise history.
But the A’s, who still are trying to find a new home to play at in the Oakland area or elsewhere, are likely not going to be in contention in 2022.
They let their manager Bob Melvin (who was the most tenured manager in baseball. The most tenured manager in baseball now is Cleveland’s Terry Francona, who has seldom managed the team in the last two seasons due to health issues) go to the San Diego Padres for nothing and now, they are looking to potentially unload their players.
To be clear, the A’s have not officially said that they plan on getting rid of their veteran players but at the GM meetings in Carlsbad, California last week, Oakland GM David Forst said that the front office and ownership are considering taking a step back.
If they do sell, though, there are a few players that could help the Rockies. One of the best matches and best players on the Oakland A’s is Matt Chapman.
The Colorado Rockies could make their offseason by acquiring Matt Chapman from the Oakland Athletics.
Third baseman Matt Chapman, 28, would be a huge get for the Colorado Rockies if the Oakland Athletics decide to trade him. The chance that the A’s will trade him is higher than you think.
The A’s have been known to trade their players one, two, or three years before they hit free agency. A few examples include Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, Andrew Bailey, Tyson Ross, Josh Donaldson, and Jeff Samardzija.
The A’s have done well in most of those trades (besides the Donaldson deal, which was a bad deal from day one) because they have scouted other team’s players fairly well and they have received MLB players and/or MLB-ready players.
For the Rockies, Chapman could help their offensive woes but create a premium defensive infield. Chapman is consistently compared to the former Colorado Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado on defense. He has won three Gold Gloves (including one in 2021) and two Platinum Gloves before. With the exception of 2020, he has had at least 10 DRS at third base each season he has been in the majors.
If the Rockies were to get him, they could move Ryan McMahon to second base and Brendan Rodgers to shortstop. Chapman and McMahon would, arguably, make the Rockies infield one of the best defensive infields in the National League. The defensive metrics (granted, in small sample sizes) suggest that in 2021, McMahon and Rodgers were better at second and short anyways.
The main problem for the Colorado Rockies would be that Matt Chapman’s bat was spotty in 2021.
The problem with the Rockies acquiring Chapman is that his bat was iffy in 2021. He had an OPS+ of 100 in 2021 but he only hit .210 with an OPS of .716. He also struck out a staggering 202 times.
From 2018 through 2020, his lowest OPS+ was 120 and in 2018 and 2019, he came in 7th and 6th in AL MVP voting. But the relatively poor 2021 season could play into the Rockies’ favor as the A’s would, realistically, be selling low on Chapman.
As MLB Trade Rumors noted in this article, the Rockies could be one of a few teams looking at Chapman. Third base prospects like Colton Welker and Elehuris Montero could become more expendable if the Rockies were to acquire Chapman.
Chapman is slated to make about $9.5 million in arbitration this winter for 2022 and 2023 will be his final arbitration-eligible year before becoming a free agent.
Acquiring Matt Chapman should be a move that the Rockies really explore this offseason but Chapman can’t be the only move they make but it could be one of the biggest (and best) that they could make.