Phillies Sign All-Star Infielder to Bolster Bench

The Philadelphia Phillies signed super utilityman Whit Merrifield to a one-year deal.
Aug 28, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN;  Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) throws
Aug 28, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) throws / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies added a quality bench bat to their roster on Friday, to the delight of fans wanting the team to address the offense ahead of Opening Day.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Phillies and All-Star infielder Whit Merrifield agreed on a one-year, $8 million deal. Passan adds that the 35-year-old’s contract includes a club option for $8 million with a $1 million buyout. However, Merrifield’s salary can max out to $16.6 million over the next two years depending on bonuses and him making $7 million this season.

Phillies News: Whit Merrifield Signed

The super utilityman is coming off an All-Star season with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he hit .272 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI. Merrifield also hit 27 doubles and snagged 26 stolen bases, which is what you want to see if you are a Phillies fan.

The veteran infielder can play across the diamond, which will be invaluable for the Phillies this season. Last season with the Jays, Merrifield played 84 games at second base, 81 games at left field, and six in right field.

The Phillies are currently locked in at second base with Bryson Stott. But Merrifield could be used in left field as outfielder Brandon Marsh works his way back from arthroscopic knee surgery. 

With Philadelphia bringing aboard Merrifield, they are getting a guy who is a career .284 hitter and slugging .289 at left-handed pitching over his illustrious career. It will be interesting to see what additional moves the Phillies make ahead of spring training. But it’s clear that GM Dave Dombrowski got the bench bat he was looking for.

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