The Royals Should Trade This Player While They Still Can

The Royals should consider trading away infielder Whit Merrifield.
The Royals should consider trading away infielder Whit Merrifield. / John Sleezer/Getty Images

The Kansas City Royals are in the process of a long rebuild. After making back-to-back World Series and winning it all in 2015, most of the players from those teams are playing elsewhere.

If the Royals want to be competitive in the future, they'll need to continue to make trades to bolster their roster. One such player that will be in high demand is Whit Merrifield, who is on a very team-friendly contract. Unfortunately, since Merrifield is already 31, the Royals should probably trade him sooner rather than later.

After a long time in the minors, Merrifield started his breakout in 2017 and has continued producing ever since. In 2018 and 2019, he led the majors in hits for back-to-back seasons, tallied 65 stolen bases, and posted an OPS over .800. He also can competently play second base and the outfield, making him an extremely versatile and reliable player.

Merrifield is something of a dying breed in a game that increasingly focuses on home runs, but that potentially makes his skills as a leadoff hitter even more valuable. He has also hit 19, 12, and 16 homers in his last three seasons, so he does have enough power to stay in the lineup. With a four-year, $16 million contract that vastly underpays him through 2023, teams should be lining up to trade for him in the months ahead.

The Royals need to upgrade their farm system. With a heavily reduced draft in 2020 and most of their talent years away, they will be happy to stock up on promising young players.

The Royals will be looking for a king's ransom in return for Merrifield, who is their most valuable trade asset. The last Royals' run was sparked by trading Zack Greinke for Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar, and GM Dayton Moore will be hoping to make similar deal for Merrifield.

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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.