Whit Merrifield and the Philadelphia Phillies finalize a $8 million, 1-year contract

Mon, Feb 19, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Whit Merrifield and the Philadelphia Phillies finalize a $8 million, 1-year contract

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - Utility infielder and outfielder Whit Merrifield and the Philadelphia Phillies finalized an $8 million, one-year contract on Monday.

Merrifield gets a $7 million salary this year, and the deal includes a $8 million club option for 2025 with a $1 million buyout.

"I've been a three-time All-Star. I've led the league in hits a couple times. I've led the league in stolen bases. I've led the league in all these different things that I feel like I've proven that I'm here and that I can play," Merrifield said. "I was an All-Star last year. I've done that. I want to win, though, so I'm here to do whatever I need to do to win and to help this team win, whether it's saying I should be the cheerleader for 162 games - I don't think that's why they brought me here, but if that's what they want me to do, I just want to win."

The 35-year-old hit .272 with 11 home runs and 67 RBIs last season while with the Toronto Blue Jays. He has 201 stolen bases and led the American League while with the Kansas City Royals three times. He topped the AL with 206 hits and 10 triples in 2019.

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Merrifield is expected to provide a solid right-handed bat off the bench and also play the outfield. The Phillies entered spring training without starting left fielder Brandon Marsh, who had left knee surgery two weeks ago that was expected to sideline him for three to four weeks.

Merrifield has mostly played second base with the Royals but was an outfielder last year. He has proven to be dependable, playing every game for Kansas City from 2019-21.

Merrifield and Toronto both declined his $18 million mutual option for 2024, allowing him to become a free agent.

Right-hander Caleb Ort was designated for assignment to open a roster spot.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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