Breaking: Philadelphia Phillies Confirm To Reach Contract Agreement With Another Top Experienced Star

### Whit Merrifield, Phillies Agree to 1-Year Contract

Super-utility player Whit Merrifield has agreed to a one-year, $8 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to sources who spoke with ESPN on Friday. The deal includes a club option for another $8 million with a $1 million buyout. Merrifield’s base salary this year will be $7 million, with potential bonuses that could bring the total to $16.6 million over two seasons.

Merrifield, 34, earned his third All-Star selection last season with the Toronto Blue Jays, posting a .272/.318/.382 batting line in his first full season with the team following a 2022 trade from the Kansas City Royals. Known for his hitting prowess, Merrifield led the American League in hits twice and stolen bases three times. Last season, he hit 11 home runs, drove in 67 runs, and successfully stole 26 bases out of 36 attempts.

Despite being a late bloomer who debuted in the majors at 27, Merrifield was a key player for the Royals in the late 2010s. He led the league in at-bats three times as a leadoff hitter, which, despite lowering his on-base percentage, showcased his consistent contact ability. Over his career, he has a .284/.330/.420 line in more than 4,500 plate appearances.

Merrifield’s versatility has been a significant asset, allowing him to post at least three wins above replacement in each full season from 2017 to 2021. In 2023, he demonstrated his flexibility by starting 67 games at second base, 66 in left field, and four in right field for the Blue Jays.

Originally a ninth-round pick out of South Carolina in the 2010 draft, Merrifield signed a four-year, $16.25 million extension with the Royals before the 2019 season. The Royals later restructured the deal to guarantee the option year and added an $18 million mutual option for 2024, which both Merrifield and the Blue Jays declined, leading to his current free agency.

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