Seafarers enthusiastic about Whit Merrifield

With the trade goal of the past Mariners Adam Frazier Seattle is now on its way to the Padres and is looking for another sociable infielder / outfielder. Mark Feinsand and Daniel Kramer from MLB.com (Twitter link) report that “tThe Mariners are pushing for it ” land the royals Whit Merrifield.

The Royals have consistently opposed all trade offers for Merrifield in the past, although recent reports may suggest a small rift in Kansas City’s resolve as the Royals are at least more “open” to the concept of a Merrifield deal. That doesn’t mean KC isn’t still charging a high price for Merrifield’s services, and for good reason. Not only is Merrifield a high quality hitter and a major stolen threat that can play on multiple positions, he also has a very affordable contract – Merrifield owes only $ 3.5 million in guaranteed money, including through the 2022 season of the buyout of $ 6.5 million club option for 2023.

This option can climb to $ 10.5 million if Merrifield stays healthy, although this is still a very reasonable price considering what it brings to the table. That control over the 2023 season is perhaps the key factor for teams, especially for a club like the Mariners looking to compete not just in the near future, but later this season. Today’s 4-3 victory over athletics put Seattle in second AL wildcard position just 1.5 games behind Oakland.

Merrifield, 32, brings enough versatility that the Mariners would likely use him as part of their outfield mix on occasion, but the second base is the most obvious need. Seattle hasn’t even received replacement-level production from the base second position throughout the year, and Merrifield would cement the position for at least 2021 and perhaps for years to come. With Merrifield on board, Seattle’s GM Jerry Dipoto would have the freedom to add more outfields or second basemen.

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