The Kansas City Royals saw many big names head to free agency this offseason with little hope of keeping them all, if any of them. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Melky Cabrera, and Jason Vargas all remain free agents while Lorenzo Cain signed a five-year deal with the Brewers.
The Royals did manage to re-sign shortstop Alcides Escobar to a one year, $2.5 million contract. His return, paired with their signing of Ryan Goins, has left the Royals with plenty of options for their infield. One of their options, pointed out by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, is to trade Whit Merrifield.
“With the return of Alcides Escobar and signing of Ryan Goins, and hopes for prospect Raul Mondesi Jr., the Royals could seriously consider trades for Whit Merrifield, who had a nice year last year,” said Heyman.
In 145 games last year, Merrifield slashed .288/.324/.460 with 19 home runs, 78 RBIs and a 105 wRC+ with an American League-leading 34 stolen bases. A nice year indeed.
He tallied innings at every position except catcher, shortstop and center field, but his main position is second base. In 2017, he played 1142.2 innings at the keystone with a 0.6 UZR and 5 DRS.
He hits for average and power, can run the bases, and plays above-average defense at second base. Further, he is under team control for five years still as 2017 was only his second season in the Majors despite his being 29 years old.
If the Royals are willing to trade Merrifield, and the Mets are willing to pay the necessary price, he is definitely someone the Mets should consider in their search for a second baseman and leadoff hitter.