The Athletics announced on Thursday that third baseman Matt Chapman underwent surgery — an ulnar sided sesamoid bone excision — on his left thumb. Chapman is expected to be ready for the start of spring training in February.
Chapman, 25, just finished his first full season in the majors. He hit .278/.356/.508 with 24 home runs and 68 RBI in 616 plate appearances. He also played arguably the best defense among third basemen in the league. According to Baseball Reference, he was worth 8.2 Wins Above Replacement. The only players with more were Mookie Betts (10.9) and Mike Trout (10.2).
Chapman will not become eligible for arbitration until after the 2020 season, but the A’s were reportedly considering approaching him about a contract extension earlier this season. If that remains true, an extension could be hammered out by the start of next season, buying out both of his pre-arb years followed by three of his arb years and potentially one or two of his free agency years.