Whit Merrifield trade details: Blue Jays acquire utility player from the Royals for minor leaguers


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At the final bell of the MLB trade deadline, the Blue Jays made a move to bolster their bench, trading for two-time All-Star Whit Merrifield from the Royals.

The utility player is currently in the midst of his worst season offensively in the MLB, which is why the cost to acquire him was fairly low. But he should be able to provide speed off the bench as a pinch runner, and has the ability to fill in holes if a player goes down with an injury.

It caps off what was an otherwise fairly quiet day for the Blue Jays. In total, Toronto acquired three pitchers, Zach Pop and Anthony Bass from the Marlins along with Mitch White from the Dodgers. GM Ross Atkins had to address the pitching needs and while none of them are big names, they still will help the Blue Jays this season.

The big concern with Merrifield is his vaccination status. He did not travel to Toronto earlier in the year when the Royals played the Blue Jays, however he said previously that he “might” be open to it if need be.

MORE: Blue Jays acquire Zach Pop, Anthony Bass to help bullpen

It’s fair to assume that Merrifield would be willing to get the necessary shots in order to play in Toronto, otherwise it would not have made sense for Atkins to trade for him.

Whit Merrifield trade details

Blue Jays receive: IF White Merrifield
Royals receive: 2B/OF Samad Taylor, P Max Castillo

This is by no means the Merrifield that was leading the MLB in hits in 2018 and 2019 and hitting over .300. He certainly has regressed at the plate, hitting .240 this season with 92 hits and 42 RBIs. His OBP is down at .290, which is not great for a player that has never finished a season with an OBP under .315.

Toronto adds an option to come off the bench for the Blue Jays. He provides versatility for the Blue Jays as someone who can play in the infield and outfield. He’s not going to be an everyday player, but he can fill in whenever someone needs a rest day, or can be used off the bench as a pinch runner. Merrifield’s 15 stolen bases are tied for 12th in the league.

Because Kansas City is trading Merrifield at his lowest value, the cost is not a ton for Toronto. Taylor is the No. 16 ranked prospect in the Blue Jays’ organization, currently playing in AAA, while Castillo is a right-handed pitcher that has seen a couple of starts with Toronto this season.

Whit Merrifield contract

The newest member of the Blue Jays is in the final year of a four-year contract. It carries a salary of $7 million for this season.

However, there is a 2023 club option that would be for $6.75 million the Blue Jays could pick up. In addition, there’s a mutual option for 2024, so there’s the opportunity for Merrifield to either be a half-year rental, or potentially stick around for an additional two seasons in Toronto.


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