The Toronto Blue Jays and infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield have declined an $18-million mutual choice for subsequent season, permitting the veteran to change into a free agent.
Merrifield will gather a $500,000 buyout and head to the open marketplace for the primary time. He might nonetheless comply with a brand new take care of Toronto.
The 34-year-old had a productive season with the Blue Jays, slashing .272/.318/.382 with 11 house runs, 67 RBIs and 26 stolen bases throughout 145 video games.
Merrifield loved an ideal begin to the yr, hitting .286/.342/.392 in 82 first-half video games however struggled down the stretch (.256/.286/.370 throughout 62 video games). He’s nonetheless thought-about one of many higher accessible gamers in what is predicted to be a weak free-agent market.
The Blue Jays acquired Merrifield in August 2022 from the Kansas Metropolis Royals for Samad Taylor and Maximo Castillo. Toronto might look to interchange Merrifield internally, with Cavan Biggio, Davis Schneider and Santiago Espinal nonetheless on the roster and underneath contract.
Merrifield is the membership’s lone finalist for the Silver Slugger Awards this season. MLB introduced the finalists at every place on Thursday.
Different Blue Jays free brokers embody Matt Chapman, Kevin Kiermaier, Brandon Belt and Hyun Jin Ryu, to call a number of.