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Kansas City Royals star Whit Merrifield traded to Toronto Blue Jays

Matt Johnson
Whit Merrifield, Toronto Blue Jays
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals have traded All0Star hitter Whit Merrifield to the Toronto Blue Jays right before the MLB trade deadline, acquiring two prospects in return.

Toronto entered August looking for another bat to strengthen its lineup, while also desiring more speed on the base paths. With Juan Soto heading to the San Diego Padres, the Blue Jays found their solution from a rebuilding American League team.

As reported by MLB insider Mark Feinsand, Merrifield is headed to the Blue Jays with prospects Samad Taylor and Max Castillo joining the Royals’ organization.

  • Whit Merrifield stats (2022): .240/.290/.352, 15 steals, 51 runs scored, 80 wRC+

Kansas City has entertained trade offers for Merrifield at each of the past three MLB trade deadlines. However, the franchise always opted to keep its homegrown star. Unfortunately, the return is much less significant than what they could have received if Merrifield was dealt a year ago.

From 2019-’21, Merrifield slashed .289/.331/.431 with a .762 OPS and averaged 12 home runs per season with 40-plus stolen bases in 2019 and ’21. Things have unraveled for him this summer, with the 6-foot-1 hitter reaching base at the worst rate in his career.

Taylor, a 24-year-old at the Triple-A level, rated as the 16th-best prospect in the Blue Jays’ farm system (MLB Pipeline). He should make his debut for the Royals at some point before the 2022 MLB season concludes.

Castillo is a 23-year-old righty who has pitched 20.2 innings in the majors this season, compiling a 3.05 ERA and 8.71 K/9 with a majority of his work coming out of the bullpen. A starter for a majority of his minor-league career, Kansas City’s lack of rotation depth could offer him a chance to earn a few starts in August and September.