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Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Royals trade Whit Merrifield to Toronto

The Royals have traded Whit Merrifield to the Toronto Blue Jays for infielder/outfielder Samad Taylor and pitcher Max Castillo, according to reporter Mark Feinsand….

Merrifield has spent his entire seven-year career with the Royals and is a two-time All-Star. He was having his worst offensive season, batting .240/.290/.352 with 15 steals in 95 games, but had come on to rebound a bit lately. He did not travel to Canada for the series against the Blue Jays three weeks ago due to his vaccination status, but indicated he was open to getting vaccinated to play in a pennant race. Merrifield is signed through 2023, and will make $2.5 million with escalators that will take his salary to $6.5 million.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 06:21 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, royals, whit merrifield

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   1. Tree Posted: August 02, 2022 at 06:27 PM (#6089632)
That's one way to get people vaccinated! I wonder if the Jays were able to speak directly to Merrifield about his vax status and willingness to be vaccinated before a trade, or would that be tampering?
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 06:32 PM (#6089635)
Whit pretty much said a few weeks ago he'd get vaccinated for a contender.
   3. Zach Posted: August 02, 2022 at 07:03 PM (#6089650)
The irony is thick.
   4. Zach Posted: August 02, 2022 at 07:05 PM (#6089652)
A fine player, but once you've reached the point of saying you'd try harder for someone else, it's probably time to go and do that.
   5. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 02, 2022 at 07:08 PM (#6089654)
would that be tampering?

I doubt KC would file a grievance. No one forced them to trade Merrifield.
   6. A triple short of the cycle Posted: August 02, 2022 at 07:31 PM (#6089665)
Being in a pennant race or not as the threshold for getting the vaccine is dumber than Tommy Lasorda.
   7. Zach Posted: August 02, 2022 at 07:34 PM (#6089666)
I guess Taylor is filling Rivera's spot?
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 08:44 PM (#6089700)
Michael Massey was pulled from Omaha’s game so I assume he’s getting called up. Samad Taylor is injured.
   9. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 02, 2022 at 08:45 PM (#6089701)

He shoulda kept his games played streak. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
   10. Cris E Posted: August 02, 2022 at 08:57 PM (#6089709)
Or he really pissed them off and they dumped him there on purpose. #AssumeMalice
   11. Ron J Posted: August 02, 2022 at 09:32 PM (#6089729)
I wonder what their plans are if everybody's healthy. Looks to me like his primary value is that they'll be able to handle Springer gently.
   12. CStallion Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:27 PM (#6089760)
#11 - seems like a pointless deal apart from him being Springer's backup.
   13. Dolf Lucky Posted: August 02, 2022 at 11:45 PM (#6089761)
It’s been awhile since I’ve had to know the details, but doesn’t it take a month from your first vax shot to be considered “fully vaccinated”?
   14. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 03, 2022 at 12:59 AM (#6089776)
It looks like it's 14 days from your second shot (or presumably your first/only Johnson & Johnson shot, which is what I guess Merrifield would get).

To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller to Canada, you must:
- have received at least 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of 2 accepted vaccines
+ or at least 1 dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine
- have received your second dose at least 14 calendar days before you enter Canada
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 03, 2022 at 01:02 AM (#6089778)
The Blue Jays are (conveniently) starting a road trip. No home games until 8/12.
   16. Ron J Posted: August 03, 2022 at 08:03 AM (#6089786)
#12 An expensive insurance policy. Really strong bench though.
   17. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 03, 2022 at 04:09 PM (#6089882)
11 & 12...if he returns to better form he'd be an upgrade over Espinal, no?
   18. Ron J Posted: August 03, 2022 at 04:25 PM (#6089885)
#17 Don't see it. They're within method error and he's at an age where down is more likely than up. But I guess a lot depends on where you see Merrifield's glove compared to Espinal. I'm hard pressed to see a major edge for Merrifield.
   19. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 03, 2022 at 04:29 PM (#6089886)
Merrifield stinks! I guess he was decent pre-Covid. I should have looked before I leapt.
   20. Ron J Posted: August 03, 2022 at 08:10 PM (#6089915)
#19 Stinks is an overbid I think. I see him as a bad regular but a top tier backup. He's probably in the top 30 options at 2B but he's a guy who good teams should be looking to upgrade.

But in today's world of tiny benches he's invaluable.
   21. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 03, 2022 at 08:51 PM (#6089921)
So you guys don't think that he's going to get regular playing time? Purely a bench piece?
   22. Ron J Posted: August 03, 2022 at 09:12 PM (#6089923)
#21 I think he'll get regular play 4-5 games a week while they manage Springer gently.

After that though, platoon 4th OF, backup middle infielder.

And maybe some defensive replacement appearances in right. Also #2 pinch runner. A super critical role.
   23. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: August 04, 2022 at 09:46 AM (#6089957)
As for the return...
I've been watching both Castillo and Taylor for a few years now and they're both interesting, though neither is a great prospect.
A top tier outcome for Taylor (who didn't make the 40 for Toronto last offseason but likely would've gone in Rule 5 had it happened) yields a Merrifield like career - he's a versatile guy, best at second and the outfield, with wheels and fringe-average pop. Not as a polished a hitter, nor quite as rangy on defense, arm is a little worse, physically a smaller guy - but a similar mold + several years younger than when Whitfield put it all together. Broad enough base of skills, led by speed, that you can dream on him (if can just improve a little bit in lots of areas - unlikely - you really have something. If he does this in just one or two, you've got a steady contributor).
Castillo, the better of the two right now, did well in limited work in his MLB debut this year. Low 90s, funky delivery, can start or relieve (likely a bulk innings guy for now), might be homer prone. Really looks like he know what he's doing out there.

That return feels light for a 2 time all star, given Whit's contract, and his weak hitting numbers this year are probably partly bad BABIP luck. Having said that ... I don't really trust Merrifield to perform up to the expectations set by his projections going forward? Like, I would expect Taylor in, say, 2024, to be better than Whit (and still cheap cost controlled, etc...) and I don't think 2023 should matter much to KC.

So this seems fine.

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