Whit Merrifield, a first-time All-Star last season with the Kansas City Royals, could be traded this season. The 31-year-old veteran is drawing interest from multiple ball clubs. Merrifield is a versatile player who is consistent on both sides of the ball. One milestone that shows that is his 31-game hitting streak last season, which is mind-blowing. Speaking of his versatility, Merrifield played both second base and center field for the Royals in 2019. It goes without saying that you can put him all over the diamond defensively.
The Royals have been in an evident rebuild in recent years. There is no sense in having All-Star numbers go to waste if you can get the price. A title or nothing team, the Atlanta Braves could acquire the seasoned veteran. Need some outfield help, or possibly some assistance in the infield? Whit Merrifield is the guy that the Braves could target for their quest for the 2020 title.
What’s The Plan?
Adding Merrifield isn’t going to be an easy task, however. Despite the Royals’ rebuild, Kansas City has been incredibly hesitant with releasing Merrifield. That makes their asking price for his departure rather high to most many believe. The Braves certainly have the farm system to grab him, if they choose so. William Contreras, the star prospect catcher in the farm system, could be a piece to go on the block. Contreras could further develop his game in the Royals minors and then possibly get a start over Salvador Perez.
Another prospect to keep an eye on is Bryse Wilson, starting pitcher. After his forgettable 2019 season, Wilson’s upside is certainly nothing to scoff over. The just 22-year-old is in a great spot to solidify himself as a starting option for the majors. Whether this is for Atlanta or another team is yet to be answered in 2020. A “bulldog” on the mound some say, Wilson combines potential with his terrific stuff for the possible Merrifield trade. Also for the trade, you have a guy in Tucker Davidson, who poses as a nice option. Davidson is a prospect that absolutely excelled in 2019 with the double-A squad, and plans to keep that momentum for 2020. Pitching is always the biggest need in the league, and the Braves have the pieces for the price.
The Braves made an excellent move, acquiring left-fielder Marcell Ozuna from the Cardinals. This move now has got the four-hole taken care of. In order to maximize the production of this spot, however, runners have got to be consistent with getting on base. Merrifield held some amazing stats that serves as a magnet for teams. He led the league in hits last season and has a knack for hitting for extra bases. This should bond well with Ozuna and Freeman behind him in the lineup.
Longtime veteran of the game, Nick Markakis, is now entering his age-36 season. Needless to say, splitting games this season with a younger option may come sooner than later. Then you also have Ender Inciarte, who has been average over the past few years. Merrifield has to feel like an upgrade compared to Ender if they get him. The Braves have options to place Merrifield somewhere if they so choose. Atlanta is gunning for a title and there is no doubt about it. The young talent along with Freddie and now Ozuna, the makings in Atlanta is nothing to joke about.
Whit Merrifield provides consistency, which Atlanta needs in the postseason. The horrible blowout against the Cardinals can’t happen again and the motive is stronger than ever. Offense and defense are exactly what you’re getting with Merrifield, on a now All-Star level.
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