Marcos Mendoza | January 30th, 2019
According to reports from Jeff Passan, the Royals and 2B Whit Merrifield agreed to a 4-yr extension worth $16.25 million with a club option in 2023 worth up to $10.5 million.
Merrifield was selected by the Royals in the 2010 Amateur draft in the 9th round with the 4th pick. He’s spent 3 seasons in the Majors making his debut in 2016. Merrifield is one of the most underrated players in the game. In 2017 he had a breakout season slashing .288/.324/460 with a 105 wRC+ and a 2.9 WAR. He also slugged 19 HRs with a .806 OPS and a .174 ISO.
He was one of the top All-Star snubs in 2018, he posted a .304/.367/.438 slash line while slugging 12 HRs with a .134 ISO. He finished with a 120 wRC+ and a 5.2 WAR, his 5.2 WAR was 10th in AL among all position players. He led the AL in hits and stolen bases with 192 Hits and 45 stolen bases. He’s one of the leagues best super-utility players, while his main position is 2B he also played RF, CF, LF, and 1B in 2018.
The Royals finished a staggering 58-104 last season in which they finished last in the AL Central and the 2nd worst record in MLB. He led the Royals in offensive WAR at 24.3 the next best Adalberto Mondesi at 10.0. He also led the Royals in games played at 158 and Plate Appearances at 707. Merrifield is quite frankly the Royals best position player and may be the best player on the team extending him was a priority considering the Royals are one of the worst teams in the MLB.
For the Royals extending him at $16.25 million for 4yrs is an absolute steal. If he was to hit the market, his market worth in 3 seasons was $75.8 million based on his 9.5 Career WAR. It is quite odd to see Merrifield re-sign for so little as the Royals future isn’t very bright. The Royals struck gold on this extension and Merrifield should continue to be one of the leagues premier super utility player in 2019 and on.
The extension was first reported by MLB’s Jon Morosi
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images