I said it a few weeks ago when this talk about the Cubs reportedly wanting to pursue a trade for Whit Merrifield started again, it’s gonna be a no from me.
The Royals have already said that they won’t be trading Merrifield this offseason, but that hasn’t stopped the Cubs from going after him. That’s according to MLB reporter Jon Morosi.
MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that Chicago is showing “continued interest” in trading for Merrifield, who just completed the first season of the four-year, $16.25 million extension he signed with Kansas City at the beginning of 2019. Merrifield remains cheap even after signing that extension (he’ll make $5 million in ’20), and the Cubs could be in the market for a middle infielder to slot next to Javier Báez.
Merrifield, 30, continued to be an accomplished hitter at the plate (Major League-most 206 hits and 10 triples) and versatile in the field this year, logging 77 games in the outfield along with 82 at second base. He’s also a consistent contact hitter, which is a skill the Cubs generally lacked during their 2019 offensive struggles.
Earlier this month the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales reported that Merrifield was a top priority for the Cubs this offseason and it’s not like this is anything new. The Cubs have been linked to Merrifield since the summer.
He’ll be 31-years-old in 2020 and Merrifield has the ability to play the outfield as well as second base. He makes a lot of contact, has some pop in his bat and still has some speed.
Yet, Cubs fans who want Merrifield most likely view him as the savior to the problem at leadoff. What’s the most important job of a leadoff hitter? Get on base.
Yes, Whit Merrifield would be a great acquisition for the Cubs, but at what cost? The Royals view him like he’s a star, which he’s simply not and Merrifield has already shown signs of regressing.
So, this definitely won’t be the last time we see that the Cubs are interested in Merrifield, but at the end you have to think that if a deal isn’t reached it’s because the asking price is way too high.