After recent rumors of the San Diego Padres being interested in trading for Whit Merrifield, we talked with Kings of Kaufmann to see what it might cost.
A.J. Preller and the San Diego Padres continue scouring the trade market this offseason to improve this team for the upcoming season and beyond.
There might not be a single player available that fits the profile of what the Padres need more than Whit Merrifield.
And if you think I’m overselling the 30-year-old utility player, just look at his numbers and his contract … they speak for themself.
Merrifield was a bit of a late bloomer coming out of South Carolina. It took him six-plus seasons to finally get a shot in the big leagues in 2016.
He put up a 1.5 WAR in that first season in just 81 games with the Kansas City Royals.
Since then he’s had three straight seasons of being at least a 2.8 WAR player, according to FanGraphs.
He was a 5.2 WAR player in 2018 when he hit .304 with a .367 OBP to go along with 12 home runs and 45 stolen bases.
This past season he hit .302/.348 with 16 home runs, 105 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases.
Merrifield has spent plenty of time at second base and center field, which is the two primary needs for the Padres right now.
His team-friendly contract has him under team control for at least three more seasons for a total of $14.5 million with a team option for $10.5 million in 2023.
The guy hits, steals bases, plays two positions of need, is under team control for three more years, and is not expensive. It seems like a no-brainer for me if the Royals are willing to part with him.