The 2022 MLB Trade Deadline has come and gone. While the biggest news around baseball was the acquisition of Juan Soto by the San Diego Padres. One of the trades that were under the radar was the Toronto Blue Jays trading for second baseman Whit Merrifield from the Kansas City Royals.
It may not be some groundbreaking deal or one that raised many eyebrows, but Whit Merrifield has a chance to be a largely beneficial piece for the Blue Jays lineup. While he’s not going to bring the same impact as Soto will in San Diego, there’s a lot to like about what Merrifield can bring for his new squad.
Merrifield has been with the Royals organization since being drafted in 2010. He made his debut in 2016 and has been able to lock down a role in the team’s lineup ever since. He was a stud for the team for the past few years, proving to be a quality big leaguer hitter.
He’s not tearing the cover off the baseball and parking balls ten rows up the bleachers, but he’s getting on base, stealing bases, and being that toolsy player that a team like the Blue Jays is aiming to make a run will benefit from having. There is a hang-up with his vaccination status, but if that all gets cleared up, the Blue Jays stole Merrifield.
Whit Merrifield being traded to the Blue Jays was a steal for Toronto.
The official deal was Whit Merrifield heading to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for utility-man Samad Taylor and right-handed pitcher Max Castillo. They are headed to the Kansas City Royals organization. It was not a high-profile deal whatsoever.
This might be because the Royals have seen Merrifield dip a bit in performance from where he has been in recent years. In 2022, he has logged 95 games, totaling 383 at-bats, where he’s managed a .240/.290/.352 slash line with 23 doubles and 15 steals.
It’s still a solid performance. In years past, he has consistently been a player the Royals can count on at the top of their lineup, also being able to steal bases and be a base-running threat. He may not be pimping home runs or being the team’s clean-up hitter, but he’s been a solid contributor for the Royals.
Merrifield has the potential to slide into the Blue Jays lineup and wind up being an impactful addition. With a better surrounding cast in Toronto than is in Kansas City, he could easily get back to the level of performance he had shown in recent years.
The Blue Jays are going to hope they can get him into the lineup as soon as possible, letting him be a producer near the top of the lineup. One of the biggest hang-ups is going to be his unvaccinated status. He missed the trip to Toronto that the Royals took earlier this year and will have to get things figured out before he heads to the Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays are reportedly leaving the decision up to Merrifield, allowing him to make it. But it feels like one of those formalities where he will have to get it if he wants to play for the Blue Jays in 2022. Otherwise, what is he going to do? Be a player who only plays away games?
It’s certainly a situation to follow. But vaccination status aside, the Blue Jays walked away with a super underrated player at the trade deadline by bringing in Whit Merrifield.