Report: Mariners pushing to acquire Merrifield
The Seattle Mariners might be ready to shift into buy mode.
Merrifield, a two-time All-Star who's twice led the majors in hits, has been one of the few constants for the Royals during their ongoing rebuilding process thanks in part to his team-friendly contract. However, the club is reportedly more open to dealing him now than in past years.
The 32-year-old is enjoying another All-Star campaign in Kansas City, hitting .272/.319/.402 with eight homers, 52 RBIs, and a league-leading 25 steals across 97 games. As in past seasons, Merrifield has proven a versatile weapon by splitting time between second base and the outfield.
Merrifield is under contract through 2022, with a club option in 2023, and is owed just $3.5 million in guaranteed money. His annual salary can increase in increments of $1 million through an incentive-based points system, per Cot's Contracts.
Merrifield would boost a Mariners offense that's in need of some help in multiple areas, but particularly at the keystone. Seattle's second basemen have combined to post an MLB-worst minus-0.4 WAR this year.
The surprising Mariners may see an opening to finally snap their 19-year playoff drought, currently the longest active dry spell in the four major North American sports leagues. They're keeping pace in the competitive AL West, sitting just 1 1/2 games back of the Oakland Athletics for the final AL playoff spot.