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Blue Jays acquire Whit Merrifield from Royals at MLB trade deadline

Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Whit Merrifield

In a rather surprising turn of events, the Toronto Blue Jays have reached a deal with the Kansas City Royals for second baseman and outfielder Whit Merrifield right before the trade deadline.

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Blue Jays are sending prospect Samad Taylor and pitcher Max Castillo to the Royals in the deal.

While Whit Merrifield’s name had been in trade rumors as of late, with the Royals largely expected to move him, his trade to the Blue Jays came as quite the shocker since he’s unvaccinated and even missed Kansas City’s series against Toronto a couple of weeks ago due to his vaccination status.

Of course that is a major talking point after the trade surfaced, though Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the two-time All-Star has changed his mind about it. For what it’s worth, Merrifield did say that he is willing to change his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine for a contending team that would need to go to Canada. Little did he know that he’ll be sent to Toronto itself.

“That might change down the road. Something happens and I happen to get on a team that has a chance to go play in Canada in the postseason, maybe that changes. But as we sit here right now, I’m comfortable in my decision, my teammates support me, support the rest of the guys in here who have made that decision, and that’s that,” Merrifield said on his vaccine status, per New York Post.

The Blue Jays are getting a solid player in Merrifield, though. While his numbers dipped in the first half of the campaign, he remains a high-contact hitter and an excellent baserunner who can steal bags at a solid rate.