Phillies Add Perfect Veteran Leader in Free Agency Prediction

The Philadelphia Phillies make the perfect veteran signing in The Athletic's latest free agency predictions.
Sep 18, 2023; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper (3) reacts
Sep 18, 2023; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper (3) reacts / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies took care of one big offseason priority by re-signing starting pitcher Aaron Nola a week ago. Now they can turn their attention elsewhere, like finding infield and outfield help.

Fortunately for them, there's one player on the market who could help in both areas -- and The Athletic thinks they could sign him.

Phillies Rumors: Whit Merrifield a Free-Agent Target?

MLB analyst Jim Bowden of The Athletic predicts Philadelphia could land veteran Whit Merrifield this offseason on a two-year, $18 million deal. He'd fill the Phillies' need for a right-handed hitter who can play multiple positions while also providing leadership as a 34-year-old three-time All-Star.

Fans should love the idea of adding Merrifield to bolster this team in 2024. He's been one of MLB's top hitting threats over the past few seasons, leading the majors in overall hits twice (2018 and 2019), triples once (2019) and doubles once (2021).

Merrifield doesn't stop being a nuisance to opponents once he gets on base, however. He's a speed demon who's led the American League in steals three times, the most recent of which was in 2021.

The longtime Kansas City Royal's numbers have started to slip a little as he gets up there in age, though he bounced back from a quieter 2022 campaign with an All-Star season in 2023 that saw him slash .272/.318/.382 with 11 home runs, 67 RBI and 26 SB.

Merrifield's positional flexibility in the field provides even more value to the table, as he can play all three outfield spots, along with his usual home at second base. He's even made some appearances at 1B and 3B in his career, giving his next team plenty of ways to use him.

Merrifield would simply make the Phillies' roster stronger while not breaking the bank, so Dave Dombrowski should be all over this move if the opportunity arises.

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