Mike Moustakas isn't the only Kansas City Royal to keep in the back of your mind as the MLB trade deadline approaches. The Phillies are also interested in Royals super-utilityman Whit Merrifield, according to MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi.
Merrifield is a dynamic player. The 29-year-old has speed, pop, the ability to hit for average and to play six different positions.
Merrifield hit .288/.324/.460 last season for the Royals with 32 doubles, 19 homers and an AL-leading 34 stolen bases.
This season, he's hit .290/.359/.414 with 25 doubles, five homers and 16 steals.
He typically plays second base for the Royals but wouldn't be playing there much if the Phillies acquired him. Merrifield's also started 11 games in center field this season and 19 in the corner outfield since the start of 2017.
The Phillies would have use for a player like Merrifield at third base and in the corner outfield at times. A right-handed hitter, he's hit a ridiculous .382 in 117 plate appearances this season vs. lefties.
Merrifield makes just $570,000 this season and is under club control through the end of the 2022 season. He won't start making what he's actually worth until 2021.
Because of Merrifield's offensive and defensive versatility and his team-friendly contract, he will be pricy to acquire in a trade. The Royals probably don't have a single more attractive player than Merrifield so they'd need to feel good about the return they get, and they're under no pressure whatsoever to move him right now. He'd still have plenty of trade value in six or 12 months, too.
If the Royals do move Merrifield this month, the Phillies could interest them with a combination of starting pitching prospects or borderline MLB-ready pieces like Dylan Cozens or Roman Quinn. Players like Maikel Franco and J.P. Crawford may be dangled as well. The Royals, like the Orioles, need help everywhere.
On June 29, our Jim Salisbury reported that Royals scouts have been watching the Phillies' farm system (see story).
That was in relation to a potential deal for Moustakas, a rental who would cost less. But the discussions and prep work done by both sides could also play a role in a bigger trade for Merrifield.
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