The familiar faces are beginning to dwindle for the Oakland A’s. Chris Bassitt is gone. Matt Olson followed two days later. And now, like clockwork, two days after the Olson trade, another player has been shipped away due to the penny pinching ways of ownership as Matt Chapman is been dealt.
This time, the Toronto Blue Jays are plucking one of the A’s top players in Chapman. They have reportedly sent a package of four prospects headlined by Gunner Hoglund and Kevin Smith.
Matt Chapman fetches intriguing return for Oakland A’s
Chances are, the A’s are feeling fairly well about this return even if it is riddled with question marks. Chapman continued to dazzle on defense en route to a Gold Glove last year, but there are starting to be questions about his offense. He produced a .210/.314/.403 batting line in his 622 plate appearances last season, hitting 27 homers and drawing 80 walks, but also struck out 202 times.
Hoglund is the key to this trade but is also quite the wild card. When healthy, he was considered to have the best command of any pitcher in the 2021 MLB Draft class, making his low 90s fastball and plus slider that much more effective. He was also working on a changeup that had the potential to be a league average offering. However, he had Tommy John surgery prior to the draft and is lost for the 2022 season.
Smith looked like a career minor leaguer before exploding at Triple-A and making his major league debut. He was suddenly barrelling the ball more while showing better plate discipline and contact rates than he had throughout his minor league career. While his hit tool and overall performance on defense are questionable, Smith at least has a chance to be a utility man on a major league bench.
Zach Logue is currently projected to be a back of the rotation arm but there is potential for more. He has a plus changeup that is his strikeout pitch due to solid arm action. Even though his fastball is in the low 90s, he is able to throw it past hitters up in the zone due to his low arm slot. Logue also has a slider and a cutter, and while neither are particularly impressive, his excellent command allows him to spot those offerings for strikes and get the most from his arsenal.
Kirby Snead, like Logue, is a low arm slot lefty, only with a reliever profile. His fastball tops out at 96 MPH and he features a wipeout slider as his strikeout pitcher. Snead also throws a changeup, but slows his arm action for the pitch. While it has plenty of movement, he may profile best as a left specialist.
Two years ago, this time of return would have been considered a major disappointment for Chapman. As it is, there are questions as to what exactly the A’s received. The potential is there, especially with Hoglund, but they need to take major steps forward in order for the A’s to get more than one building block in this deal.
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Matt Chapman is the latest Oakland A’s star to be sent packing. He has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for a package of four prospects.