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Former Blue Jays utility player Whit Merrifield signs one-year deal with the Phillies

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Photo credit:John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Shushkewich
1 month ago
One former Blue Jay is officially off the free-agent board.
Whit Merrifield, who spent one and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, has signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on a one-year deal as reported by Foul Territory TV on the X platform. The deal is worth $8 million and includes a club option for next season.
Merrifield joined the Blue Jays at the 2022 trade deadline, as the Jays acquired him from the Kansas City Royals while sending RHP Max Castillo and OF Samad Taylor the other way.
The former hit king in 2018 and 2019 suited up in 189 games for Toronto and sported a .274/.319/.394 with 32 doubles, 16 home runs and a .712 OPS through 668 at-bats. He was versatile for the club, splitting time between second base and the corner outfield spots across the two campaigns. An average defender, Merrifield’s plus speed saw him rack up 27 steals, 26 of which came this past year and led the team.

Whit Merrifield signs one year deal with the Phillies

With the addition of Isiah Kiner-Falefa earlier this winter plus with Santiago Espinal and Cavan Biggio already on the roster, Merrifield was unlikely to return.
During the media scrums this week at Spring Training, manager John Schneider also mentioned that Davis Schneider, who was promoted to the big leagues in August last year, had done some additional outfield work in the offseason, taking over the two positions that Merrifield suited up in for the Jays. Schneider appears poised to break the Opening Day roster this year but will see some competition from the likes of Ernie Clement, Addison Barger, Orelvis Martinez, Spencer Horwitz, and the newly signed Eduardo Escobar and Daniel Vogelbach this spring for one of the few open bench spots.
Steamer projects the 35-year-old to post a .258 batting average and a .680 OPS with a .297 BABip, a slight decrease from his 2023 campaign stats. While the Jays will likely miss his speed on the basepaths, the front office appears to have faith in internal options to replace the veteran on the roster this season and beyond.

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