Kansas City Royals: Team should explore Merrifield trade in offseason
By Ryan Sikes
The Kansas City Royals are in the midst of their rebuilding mode and should explore a trade to get a haul in return for Whit Merrifield.
Whit Merrifield has been one of the few bright spots on this Kansas City Royals roster, along with Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier. He’s under contract through the 2022 season with a club option for 2023 as well and is signed to an extremely team-friendly $4.1 AAV salary.
Merrifield will turn 31 in January and was rumored to have drawn some level of interest from teams like the Cubs, Phillies, and Braves at the trade deadline. However, Royals General Manager Dayton Moore indicated whatever discussions had gone on were not enough to deal the versatile ballplayer.
Moore stated that it would take a significant return in order to part with Merrifield, but the Royals would be foolish if they didn’t explore a trade to keep re-stocking their farm system, which was ranked in the bottom third of the league at the beginning of the season. Many of their budding prospects are at the lower levels and are pitchers.
Add to this the Royals’ infield is starting to get crowded. With Nicky Lopez seeing more playing time and the return of Adalberto Mondesi on Sunday, Merrifield will likely see more time in the outfield. The Royals also acquired former Yankees first base prospect, Ryan McBroom on Saturday evening.
Despite the early reports, McBroom is reporting directly to the Royals rather than Triple-A Omaha and should see a good amount of time at both first base as well as the outfield. Merrifield could be extremely valuable to a team like the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, or Los Angeles Angels, to name a few.
It will be interesting to see what new Royals owner John Sherman‘s first moves are, but outside of anything crazy, this team is not going to compete for anything in 2020. Merrifield has been terrific for this organization but if the Royals can get a solid haul of prospects in return for him, they should absolutely look into all scenarios.