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With an impressive glove and bat, Whit Merrifield may become a target for teams seeking help at second base. After a restructuring of his contract, the Royals appear to have made it easier to trade him.
Whit Merrifield has struggled at the plate this season, as many have after a lockout-shortened Spring Training, but offers versatility at second base and at right field.
Fansided’s MLB Insider Robert Murray recently pondered if a change of scenery and more consistent time at second base would benefit him.
Merrifield is currently hitting .204/.240/.282 with an OPS of +50. He has three defensive runs saved in the outfield with one at second base, after netting 14 DRS in 2021 at the position.
Murray explained Merrifield will earn $7 million this season and only $2.75 million in 2023 with $4 million available in incentives.
A rival executive believes the contract makes Merrifield more tradable.
As the season heats up, it will be interesting to see if Merrifield improves at the plate. With Nicky Lopez, Bobby Witt, Jr., and Hunter Dozier playing with an intensity that demands their presence in the line-up, Merrifield may be getting pushed out by the team he was drafted by in 2010.
What teams could be seeking a veteran second baseman with a decent bat? What teams would be willing to take on his restructured contract? Let’s take a look at who may be the favorites in garnering Merrifield’s services.
MLB rumors: Whit Merrifield makes sense for Phillies
While Bryson Stott appears to be the second-baseman in waiting as a top prospect of the Philadelphia Phillies, Jean Segura is fielding second base for the time being. Whit Merrifield may be an asset for the Phillies to bridge that gap to a more ready Stott.
Segura is in the final year of his five-year deal worth $70 million with the Phillies. He’s hitting .307/.363/.491 with an OPS of +143 with six home runs. Segura is definitely hitting better than Stott who is hitting .130/.190/.148 after 16 games with the Phillies.
While Segura is a few ticks better than Merrifield at the plate, Merrifield would provide a strong veteran presence for a young infield corp the Phillies possess. Adding him to a lineup that includes Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins could be just the jolt Merrifield needs at the plate.