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Royals ship second baseman Merrifield to Toronto

Royals ship second baseman Merrifield to Toronto

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Whit Merrifield headed to Blue Jays (1:18)

Baseball Tonight discusses Whit Merrifield being traded from the Royals to the Blue Jays proper earlier than the deadline. (1:18)

6:46 PM ET

  • ESPN Information Providers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Royals despatched utility man Whit Merrifield to the Blue Jays simply minutes earlier than Tuesday’s commerce deadline, despite the fact that the two-time All-Star was unvaccinated towards COVID-19 and needed to miss Kansas Metropolis’s journey to Toronto final month.

It is unclear whether or not Merrifield, who has primarily performed second base however is able to enjoying wherever within the outfield and throughout the infield, has acquired or is planning to get the shot required of all gamers touring to Canada.

Merrifield drew the ire of Royals followers when, previous to their journey to Toronto, he mentioned: “One thing occurs and I occur to get on a workforce that has an opportunity to go play in Canada within the postseason, perhaps that adjustments.” Many in Kansas Metropolis took that to imply he would not get vaccinated for his last-place workforce however could be open to it for a contender.

Roughly three weeks later, Merrifield has been positioned in exactly that scenario.

In alternate, the Royals acquired speedy outfielder Samad Taylor and right-hander Max Castillo, each of whom might assist their huge league workforce as quickly as this season. The 24-year-old Taylor is hitting .258 with 9 homers and 23 stolen bases in 70 video games for Triple-A Buffalo whereas the 23-year-old Castillo has a 3.05 ERA in 9 appearances for Toronto.

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The 33-year-old Merrifield is hitting .240 with 30 extra-base hits and 15 stolen bases in 95 video games this season. He has proved to be reliable — his 553-game Iron Man streak ended final month due to a toe damage — and he has led the league in hits twice, led the league in stolen bases thrice and had an American League-leading 42 doubles final season.

Merrifield is making $7 million this season and is due $2.75 million subsequent season together with a $4 million bonus for spending fewer than 110 days on the injured listing in 2022. He has an $18 million mutual choice for 2024 with a $500,000 buyout.

The Blue Jays additionally acquired right-hander Mitch White and minor league infielder Alex De Jesus from the Los Angeles Dodgers forward of Tuesday’s commerce deadline in alternate for minor league pitchers Nick Frasso and Moises Brito.

Earlier Tuesday, the Blue Jays strengthened their bullpen by buying relievers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop (in addition to a participant to be named later) from the Miami Marlins for shortstop prospect Jordan Groshans.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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