Giants' Chapman believes he has ‘unfinished business' with Melvin

Giants' Chapman believes he has ‘unfinished business' with Melvin originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Newly acquired Giants third baseman Matt Chapman knew he had to return to the Bay Area when manager Bob Melvin moved to San Franciso from the San Diego Padres over the offseason.

The 30-year-old Chapman spent the first five seasons of his MLB career with Melvin and the Oakland Athletics, an era he believed could've lasted longer.

During his introductory press conference on Monday, Chapman explained how he was fated to reunite with his old manager on the Giants.

“It was hard to really predict what was going to happen [in MLB free agency],” Chapman told reporters on Monday. “But I knew BoMel going to San Francisco, it just seemed like it was destiny. And I think we've got some unfinished business.

“For me, the unfinished business is I thought we had something really special building with the A’s and, unfortunately, that got kind of ripped out of our hands and broken up.”

Chapman appeared in 573 games across the 2017 through 2021 seasons with Melvin and the A’s, making the MLB All-Star team in 2019, finishing top 10 in the AL MVP race twice (2018, 2019) and earning three Gold Gloves.

During that span, Oakland had two 90-win seasons, competed in two AL wild card series and even reached the divisional round. The former A's infielder wanted to win beside Melvin in Oakland, but ownership took a different route, trading Chapman to the Toronto Blue Jays in March 2022.

While reminiscing, Chapman is prepared to compete for titles with Melvin on their new team, recognizing the difference in approaches between Oakland and San Francisco.

“Getting to come back here and have an opportunity to be in an organization like the Giants, a team that’s not afraid to spend, a team that’s not afraid to go get free agents, keep guys together and keep adding all the things you’d expect a winning franchise to do,” Chapman shared.

“Now, we have the opportunity to do that here, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of that and am just extremely blessed and excited to start this new journey.”

The Giants have been bigger spenders than the A’s this offseason, signing Chapman to a one-year, $18 million contract that can become a four-year deal, in addition to adding stars like Jorge Soler and Jung Hoo Lee.

And while San Francisco is coming off a lowly 2023 MLB season where it finished third in the NL West with a 79-83 record, falling short of the playoffs for the second consecutive year, the Giants are showing a sense of urgency to compete this season.

Chapman believes the Giants offer him the "best opportunity," as he’s betting on himself to excel this season. But Melvin is just as big a reason for his deal with San Francisco as any.

“The list goes on and on, Chapman emphasized. “I think [Melvin’s] just consistent. [He’s] the same guy every day. He trusts his players. He believes in his players. He makes you feel like you’re the guy he wants up there in ‘those’ situations, and I feel like he finds really good situations to put guys in. Everybody has always had a good experience playing with him.

“And I know that he’s always the most prepared guy. He wants to win, and we have a lot of the same values. That’s just scratching the surface of why he’s such a good manager, but [he] also just has a feel, an understanding of what’s going on with the team and what the team needs on that specific day.”

The California natives have spent much time together throughout their professional careers, and their partnership only can grow from here on out.

Chapman believes his fit on Melvin’s team will be like “riding a bike” and the two are on the same page, intending to compete for a World Series win.

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