The Kansas City Royals have been rumored to be interested in trading Whit Merrifield all year. Today, those speculations seem to have come to an end. For now.
When the Kansas City Royals became sellers, all sorts of names started coming up in trade rumors. The majority of the players on one-year contracts arose first. Then some names of players who have years left. One name was Whit Merrifield.
The intrigue for Merrifield isn’t hard to see. While he is 29-years-old, he still has four years left on his contract before he can be a free agent. That’s significant because of how productive he’s been since joining the Royals.
Over the last three years, Merrifield is hitting a .291/.339/.427 with an OPS+ of 107. He has shown an ability to hit for power, hitting only 26 home runs, but adding 85 doubles. Merrifield also has a wRC+ of 91, 105, and 120 over the last three years.
To add to his offense, Merrifield has the ability to steal bases. In 2017 he led the American League with 34 stolen bases. This year he has already stolen 21 bases. His ability to wreak havoc once he gets on base is something few players have the ability to do.
Defensively, he is an ideal player. He can play nearly every position on the field and play it well. This year alone he has played first base, second base, right field, and center field. Over his three years with the Royals he has also played third base and left field. The only positions he hasn’t played at the big league level are catcher, shortstop, and pitcher.
He is a solid offensive player, who is comfortable on the basepaths and can play nearly any position at, or above, league average. All while having four years of control on a very cheap contract. It’s no wonder teams are interested in him.
But he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Speculation was that the Royals were listening to offers for Merrifield. In fact, reports were coming out that the Royals had a pretty high price tag for teams. Which started bringing the idea out that maybe the Royals weren’t going to trade him right now.
Then Dayton Moore was asked about whether or not the Royals were looking to trade Merrifield right now. Instead of giving a political answer or a generic answer, he answered honestly.
Merrifield has mentioned before in the past about his desire to stay in Kansas City. He likes the city, the team, and the people. After Dayton Moore explained that the Royals weren’t going to trade him right now, here was his response.
So now what?
I’m not going to say the Royals aren’t going to trade Merrifield. I believe he still has a chance to be traded. However, this type of response from Moore makes me believe there is more to the story here than we all know.
Merrifield has already made it public that he wants to be in Kansas City for his entire career. Maybe that isn’t so far off? Maybe the Royals are looking at an extension, rather than a trade, and that’s why the price on Merrifield is so high.
I personally want Merrifield in Kansas City. I think he has the chance to be a huge asset to the Royals, especially when they start bringing the younger guys up. Merrifield is the perfect story about what hard work, dedication, and resiliency can do for a player.
I also know that baseball is a business. If the Royals do get blown away by another team’s offer I am fully aware that the Royals could take it. With a rebuild, getting promising prospects in return for veteran players is a vital part in speeding up rebuilds. While it doesn’t seem like the Royals will settle for anything other than a king’s ransom, we still have the Winter Meetings and the trade deadline the next four years.
What do you think? Are the Royals making a mistake by not trading Merrifield, even if it is a lesser deal? Should the Royals extend Merrifield? Let us know below!