It is official: Whit Merrifield is not leaving Kansas City for a while. The second baseman inked a new deal with the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Fans no longer have to imagine who will play next to Adalberto Mondesi for the Kansas City Royals for a while. Whit Merrifield agreed to stay with the Royals, signing his name on a $16.25 million dollar, four year contract.
Merrifield rolled with the punches during the 2018 season. He lost a little time in the infield to the young Mondesi, who had to split time at shortstop with Alcides Escobar.
The 30 year old will be a leader among a young squad. While it may seem like there isn’t much of a rebuild going on, there is definitely going to be an abundance of young guys who see time at the major league level.
The contract is worth a total of 16.5 million dollars with plenty of escalators. The largest sum will be made in the third year of the deal. Starting next season, Merrifield will slowly graduate up to 6.75 million in 2021. Then he will make 2.75 in 2022 on a very team friendly deal. There is also a 10.5 million dollar option for 2023, but he will need to earn that money considering he will be 34 years old.
What makes Whit Merrifield so great?
Perhaps the greatest thing about Whit Merrifield on the field is his versatility. He’s a second baseman, but he played 39 games in the outfield last season because his number was called. He also appeared in five games at first base.
A FanGraphs article claimed that the Kansas City Royals were “seeking safety” by signing Whit Merrifield to a new contract. He was a late bloomer, drafted in 2010 before slowly crawling through the minors, with his first full season in the big leagues being 2017.
He has proven to be dependable, and he gets the security of being able to be with a team, and the Royals will get a discount on a good player.
Merrifield appeared in 158 games within the 2018 season. He knocked in 60 RBI’s, while tallying 192 hits, 61 walks, and a slash of .304/.367/.438. The speedster also swiped 45 bases throughout the course of 2018.
All in all, this is a great deal for the Royals and for Merrifield. He is no doubt a fan favorite, and he has begun to come into his own. He is a solid second baseman that plays good defense, is productive at the plate, and can create his own offense on the basepaths.