Phillies, Whit Merrifield in agreement on 1-year deal

Veteran second baseman and outfielder Whit Merrifield and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to terms on a one-year, $8 million contract, multiple reports said Friday.

ESPN reported the contract will have a team option of $8 million and will include a $1 million buyout.

Earning his third All-Star appearance in 2023, Merrifield slashed .272/.318/.382 for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Drafted in 2010 by the Kansas City Royals, Merrifield didn’t reach the majors until he was 27 but quickly made up for lost time.

Merrifield was the majors’ leader in hits in 2018 and 2019 and led the American League in steals three times (2017, 2018, 2021).

The 35-year-old collected 26 stolen bases last season, his first full season with Toronto following a 2022 trade from the Royals.

Merrifield, whose career slash line is .284/.380/.420 in 1,052 games, is likely to see his best opportunities in left field.