Phillies agree to 1-year deal with Whit Merrifield, AP sources say

Philadelphia Phillies utilityman Whit Merrifield
Philadelphia Phillies utilityman Whit Merrifield

The Philadelphia Phillies have reached a contract agreement with utility infielder Whit Merrifield, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Friday.

The agreement is for an $8 million, one-year deal that includes a $8 million club option for 2025 with a $1 million buyout, a second person told the AP.

The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet announced.

The 35-year-old Merrifield is a three-time All-Star and hit .272 with 11 home runs and 67 RBIs last season with the Toronto Blue Jays. He has 201 stolen bases and led the American League with the Kansas City Royals three times. He topped the AL with 206 hits and 10 triples in 2019.

Merrifield should provide a solid right-handed bat off the bench and also play the outfield. The Phillies entered spring training without starting left fielder Brandon Marsh, who had left knee surgery last week that was expected to sideline him for three-to-four weeks.

Merrifield has mostly played second base with the Royals but was an outfielder last year. He has proven to be dependable, playing every game for Kansas City from 2019-21.

Merrifield and Toronto both declined his $18 million mutual option for 2024, allowing him to become a free agent.

The Phillies are coming off consecutive trip to the NL Championship Series, losing in seven games last season to Arizona. They have had a quiet offseason outside of signing ace Aaron Nola to a $172 million, seven-year contract.


AP Baseball Writer Jay Cohen contributed to this report.