3 Most Likely Trade Destinations for Royals' Second Baseman Whit Merrifield

Dan Israeli
Kansas City Royals v Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals v Houston Astros / Bob Levey

Cover Photo: Getty Images

The Kansas City Royals are mired in their third straight losing season, just four years removed from winning a World Series title in 2015. In fact, at 19-39, Kansas City is jockeying with the Baltimore Orioles (18-40) and Miami Marlins (20-36) for the worst record in baseball.

If the losing continues, it wouldn't be a shock to see Kansas City move some of its best players ahead of the 2019 MLB trade deadline. While youngsters like Adalberto Mondesi and Hunter Dozier will likely remain with the team, a more established player like Whit Merrifield could soon be on the move.

Merrifield is enjoying a strong season with a .300 batting average, seven homers, and eight stolen bases. If Kansas City decides to move on, here are three teams that could benefit from adding the speedy leadoff hitter to their lineup.

3. Chicago Cubs

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Getty Images / David Banks

The Chicago Cubs are contending once again in the NL Central, and while their offense is looking good with a rejuvenated Kris Bryant, they can still use a player with Merrifield's skillset. The Cubbies are sporting a rough .216/.292/.353 batting line out of the leadoff spot, and have been primarily using Kyle Schwarber there in recent weeks. Merrifield would be a nice change of pace thanks to his speed and solid batting average.

2. St. Louis Cardinals

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Getty Images / Michael B. Thomas

Things have been just as lean out of the leadoff spot for the St. Louis Cardinals, as the team is sporting a .199/.313/.341 slash line from the one hole. St. Louis has shuffled through several outfielders this season, and has also gotten very creative at the top of the order, using players like Dexter Fowler, Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter. Trading for Merrifield could provide some much-needed stability at the leadoff spot.

1. Atlanta Braves

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Getty Images / Todd Kirkland

While the Atlanta Braves have gotten better production than the other two teams on this list, they are still seeking a true leadoff hitter for their young and dynamic offense. It hasn't worked out with Ozzie Albies, who sports a .323 OBP. The Braves would likely prefer using Ronald Acuña Jr. in the middle of their lineup. Atlanta also has a talented farm system, which should help facilitate a deal with the Royals.

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