The KC Royals need to strongly consider moving Whit Merrifield this offseason.
At age 31, and turning 32 in January, Whit Merrifield is inching closer and closer to the end of his prime. He showed serious struggles during the course of the 2020 season for the Kansas City Royals, but he rebounded and as a result, the organization really needs to look into trading him before the 2021 season begins.
Merrifield finished the 2020 season with good numbers, slashing .282/.325/.440 with nine home runs, 30 RBI, 12 stolen bases, and 12 walks. He proved to be as versatile as always, playing five different positions for the Royals, but spent most of his time in right field and a fair amount in center field.
Other teams will still be coveting Merrifield this offseason because he still showed he’s a good player. The Royals need to take advantage of this because at age 31, Merrifield won’t be this kind of player for much longer. He’s still affordable and under club control through 2023, so this is the time to trade him. Another opportunity might not come up and the team has put this off for as long as possible.
The biggest reason to trade Merrifield isn’t just his age and that the opportunity to do so is dwindling down, but because the Royals need bats if they want to contend. Merrifield is going to be older by the time this team can realistically make it to the postseason and might not be the same player, so trading him now and getting young bats in return makes all the sense in the world.
The Royals look to have good pitching moving forward, so now they have to turn their attention on getting young bats to help spark their offense for the future. Merrifield was a hot commodity on the trade market just a year ago and the Royals stood by not trading him unless they received a King’s ransom in return. While they can have high expectations for him, they need to be realistic about what teams might give them in return for a soon-to-be 32 year old ball player.
The appeal for teams trading for Merrifield is that he’s versatile and still good offensively and defensively. But, at the same time, he’s in his early 30s now and won’t be the same at the plate for much longer (at least it would appear that way thanks to Father Time).
Hopefully the KC Royals field some offers for Whit Merrifield this offseason and are able to get some notable prospects in return.