Phillies and Whit Merrifield agree to one-year deal | Top Vip News


Phillies reportedly agree on infielder/outfielder Whitney Merrifield with a one-year, $8 million contract. That takes the form of a $7 million salary this year and a $1 million buyout with an $8 million club option for 2025. There are also bonuses for the Warner Sports Management client that could bring the total value to $16.6 million in two years.

Merrifield, 35, hit free agency at a late age because he was a late bloomer and signed an extension with the Royals. He made his major league debut in 2016 at the age of 27 and didn’t really establish himself until the following year, his age-28 campaign.

From 2017 to 2020, Merrifield was solidly above average at the plate and in other areas as well. He walked only 6.3% of his plate appearances, but limited his strikeouts to 15.4%. His .297/.345/.452 batting line in that time amounted to a wRC+ of 111, or 11% better than league average. He also stole 111 bases in that time while providing quality defense at second base and all three outfield positions.

In the middle of that stretch, Merrifield signed a four-year, $16.25 million extension with the Royals, and that deal also had a club option. He didn’t have much leverage as his late-game player status meant he wasn’t scheduled to hit free agency until after his age-33 season. That extension allowed him to secure some decent money while also giving up his age-34 season through that club option. The Royals would later activate that option up front, as part of restructuring their deal in early 2022.

The last three seasons have seen Merrifield’s production drop, a period of time that saw him traded to the Blue Jays midway through. Since the start of the 2021 campaign, his walk and strikeout rates have remained low, as he hit .269/.313/.392 for a wRC+ of 92. He added another 94 steals, but the defensive metrics of He has taken a step back. In the outfield, both defensive runs saved and above-average outs have seen him lacking in recent years. OAA still likes his work at second base, while DRS gave him a +14 at Keystone in 2021, but negative numbers the last two years.

Coming into the offseason, MLBTR predicted that Merrifield could receive $18 million over two years. This contract is roughly the same form, but only half is guaranteed, and the second half depends on whether or not that option is chosen.

For the Phillies, Merrifield will likely serve as a bench/utility piece, although he could see fairly regular playing time. the club has Bryson Stott at second base, although he is a left-handed hitter. Merrifield is right-handed and has modest career traditional platoon splits: .289/.335/.458 batting line and 111 wRC+ against lefties compared to a .282/.328/.407 line and 97 wRC+ the rest weather. . Stott actually has reverse splits overall, but was tied in 2023.

In the gardens, with Bryce Harper now entrenched at first base and Kyle Schwarber likely to be a regular hitter as a designated hitter, that leaves Nick Castellanos as the everyday option in right field and johan red in the middle. There is some uncertainty with Brandon Marsh on the left after he recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. The Phillies still hope he will be ready for Opening Day, but it will be difficult. He also bats left-handed and has strong platoon splits in his career, with a .272/.347/.438 line and 115 wRC+ against righties, but a .223/.278/.312 line and 63 wRC+ against lefties.

If Marsh were to miss time, the options to replace him were not very inspiring. Neither Christian Pache neither jake cave They have hit a lot in their major league careers. It looks like Merrifield could see some time in left field, either covering Marsh or platooning with him once he’s healthy. He could also cover second place at times if Bryson Stott needs a break. He has a little experience in the corners of the infield, so maybe it could mean Harper or Alec Bohm from time to time, as well as serving as a pinch runner if not in the starting lineup. After Marsh’s injury, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski downplayed the club’s likelihood of acquiring outfield help as they didn’t really have playing time to offer, but Merrifield’s versatility makes him a better fit. than a traditional gardener.

The move raises Philadelphia’s payroll to $246 million, per List resource. That’s up slightly from last year’s opening day figure of $243, so Cot Baseball Contracts. RR has its competitive balance tax figure of $261 million, above the second tax bracket of $257 million. They also finished last year between the second and third tax brackets. Getting over the third line, which is $277 million, would require the club to move its top pick in the 2025 draft 10 spots.

jon morosi of He first connected the two parties with a guarantee of $8 million and first obtained the purchase of $1 million. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first broadcast the 2025 option and details.

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