The Phillies and Whit Merrifield have been synonymous in baseball rumors for the better part of the past three seasons.

Those rumors can finally be put to rest.

The Phillies inked Merrifield, 35, to a one-year, $8 million contract, with a club option for 2025, according to multiple national reporters, but it looks like Jon Morosi of MLB Network had it first.


Merrifield was a top player for the Kansas City Royals from 2016-2021, slashing .291/.337/.434 with a .771 OPS on that span. He also rarely missed a game, playing every game for the Royals in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

There were rumors that the Phillies were interested in trading for Merrifield at the 2021 trade deadline, but a deal never came to fruition and he stayed with the Royals. There was conversation the following offseason and into the 2022 season as well, but Merrifield was instead shipped to Toronto, where he played through last season.

He has also been rumored to be linked to the Phillies this entire offseason, and finally the two sides hammered out a deal.

The versatile Merrifield, who mostly plays the corner outfield positions and second base these days, but also has played first base, third base and center field in his career, made the All-Star team for a third time with the Blue Jays in 2023.

He got off to a hot start for Toronto and was slashing .306/.355/.428 with a .783 OPS after games on July 29. But he struggled over the final two months, slashing just .211/.248/.299 for a .547 OPS.


A right-handed hitter, Merrifield will play a lot of left field and be an insurance marker for the lineup if Johan Rojas doesn’t hit, allowing the Phillies to slide Brandon Marsh back to center.

Otherwise, if Rojas is an everyday player, Merrifield can be used against left-handed pitchers either as a platoon option in left field for Marsh or to give Bryson Stott a game off periodically.

Merrifield is a career .289 hitter against left-handed pitchers with a .793 OPS.

Always considered a top of the lineup guy, Merrifield is an excellent base stealer too, although he did lose a half step in 2023. He did steal 26 bags for the Blue Jays, but he was caught 10 times. from 2017-21 he stole 151 bases and was caught just 35 times.

He is also known as a doubles machine, topping 40 doubles three times in his career, although that number fell to 27 in 2023.

Merrifield is durable and led the American League in games played three times. He also led the league in steals three times, hits twice and doubles and triples once each.

One other small note, Merrifield instantly becomes the oldest player on the Phillies roster.

The Phillies have not announced the signing yet, as it will require them to make another roster move to fit him on the roster.


His signing makes it harder to imagine one of Jake Cave, Cristian Pache, or Weston Wilson to make the team.

Pache would seem like an odd man out, as a right-handed hitting outfielder who is out of options, but it’s difficult to imagine the Phillies letting him go with Marsh currently recovering from knee surgery and no one else on the 40-man roster capable of playing centerfield if Rojas didn’t pan out.

That likely means one of the depth relievers will be dropped from the 40-man roster by being designated for assignment, and Pache and Cave will battle it out for the No. 5 outfielder spot in camp.

Speaking of DFA’s, two guys the Phillies recently DFA’d – infielder Diego Castillo and reliever McKinley Moore – both were claimed on waivers Friday. Castillo was claimed by Baltimore and Moore was claimed by the New York Yankees.