Phillies Eyeing Three-Time All-Star in Big Free Agency Move - footballivenews
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Phillies Eyeing Three-Time All-Star in Big Free Agency Move



Do you think Whit Merrifield could be the missing piece as the “10th player” for the Philadelphia Phillies? The Athletic’s Jim Bowden seems to think so. In his analysis before the winter meetings in Nashville, Bowden highlighted Merrifield as an appealing free-agent fit, emphasizing his versatility and right-handed batting—a combo that could benefit the Phillies next season. Known for excelling in hits, doubles, triples, stolen bases, and sacrifice flies throughout his career, Merrifield, 34, brings leadership and value, particularly to contending teams that see him as an asset in a 10th player role. In 2023, he showcased his skills with Toronto, landing his third All-Star Game appearance while posting .272/.318/.382/.700 with 11 home runs, 67 RBI, and 26 stolen bases in 145 games.

However, given his age, his everyday playing days are expected to dwindle, aligning with the Phillies’ lineup where he might not need to play daily. Bowden estimated a potential two-year, $18 million contract for Merrifield, which could offset the disappointment of the Blue Jays rejecting his $18 million 2024 option.

With the Blue Jays deploying Merrifield between left field and second base last year, he could serve as a valuable rotational player for the Phillies, providing depth for their outfielders and second baseman Bryson Stott.
A seasoned eight-year veteran who began his career with Kansas City in 2016, Merrifield boasts a lifetime .284 batting average. His consistent performance over the years includes leading the Majors in at-bats from 2019 to 2021 and topping hits in consecutive seasons while clinching three stolen base titles, peaking at a career-high 45 steals in 2018.