I grow weary of hearing about Whit Merrifield, to be honest, because I simply do not see the Cubs meeting the price that it seems the Royals would need to move their second baseman. Moreover, I don’t know that Merrifield, alone, turns this offense around enough to lock up the division, and although he’s under control for four more years, he turns 31 next year. It’s a great contract, but a guy who broke out so late and mostly gives you speed and athleticism and contact … I can’t say for sure I’m confident he stays a really impactful dude well into his 30s.
Anyway, against that backdrop, I did think that Joe Sheehan today – er, yesterday, I guess – proposed what would be a plausible ask by the Royals:
I think that's pretty close to a realistic deal on what the Royals would want.
But I'm not sure I could give up the first two and their upside for a guy who, although really good, has a skillset predicated on contact and speed, and plays next year at 31. https://t.co/iTLD8hcvd4
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 30, 2019
Thing is, I’m not sure the Royals would do that, either. Merrifield is what you hope Hoerner could become, he’s just eight years younger and not a sure thing. Marquez has ace upside, but he’s got a long way to go to get there. And Almora has very little value right now until he demonstrates an ability to reduce his weak contact on the ground dramatically.
Would you do it? I don’t think it’s unfair. I guess I’m just less enamored of Merrifield than others. Without a .350 BABIP the last two years, he’s barely a league average bat. While his skillset made those BABIPs “real,” I’m not convinced he can make them last. I think Merrifield stays a worthwhile guy for many years to come, I just don’t know that he’s an impact player for more than this year. I think I’d rather hang onto the youngsters, and look for additions in other ways.