The Toronto Blue Jays’ “Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, has been ranked among the top three players in free agency.
Major League Baseball’s official website (MLB.com) released the top 10 free agent rankings for players who will be eligible for free agency after the 2023 season on Sept. 29 (KST).
The No. 1 free agent according to MLB.com is Shohei Ohtani (29) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Despite a recent injury that tore ligaments in his right elbow, Ohtani’s stock is still among the best in the league. This year, Idoryu has shown what he’s made of, hitting .307 with 44 home runs, 94 RBIs, and 19 doubles, while going 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA as a pitcher.
Second on the list behind Ohtani was Cody Bellinger (28) of the Chicago Cubs. After falling into a deep slump in recent years, Bellinger bounced back this year with the Cubs, hitting .317 with 20 home runs, 76 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases.
After Ohtani and Bellinger, the next player on the list is none other than Toronto’s starting third baseman, Matt Chapman (30). Chapman has made errors in each of his last two games, much to the chagrin of Ryu, and is being generously evaluated on the free agent market.
“Just four years ago, Chapman was touted as a rising star after being named an All-Star for the first time, winning his second Gold Glove and finishing seventh in American League MVP voting for the second time in his career,” said MLB.com. “This year, his production at the plate is down from 2021 and 2022, when he hit 27 home runs in back-to-back years, and his home run total is down to 15, but his on-base percentage is .338, his highest since 2019, and he has 36 doubles,” said the site.
First and foremost, Chapman’s value is reflected in his wins above replacement (fWAR), as calculated by FanGraphs. Chapman’s fWAR this season is 3.2. “Chapman is on pace to post an fWAR of 4.0 or better this season,” MLB.com wrote, “and given the scarcity of third base options in free agency this year, Chapman is in a position to get a good deal.”
Chapman made his major league debut with the Oakland Athletics in 2017, hitting .234 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs, and then “exploded” in 2018, hitting .278 with 24 homers and 68 RBIs, winning his first Gold Glove and finishing seventh in American League MVP voting. In 2019, he hit .249 with 36 homers and 91 RBIs, earning his first All-Star selection, his second consecutive Gold Glove, and finishing sixth in American League MVP voting.메이저놀이터
Chapman, who also showed off his power in 2020 with 10 home runs in the shortened season, left Oakland in 2021 after hitting .210 with 27 home runs and 72 RBIs. Toronto acquired Chapman via trade in March of last year. After finishing last season hitting .229 with 27 homers and 76 RBIs, Chapman is hitting .248 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs this season and is currently on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained right middle finger. It remains to be seen how many teams will be interested in Chapman in the upcoming free agency.