Phillies Rumors: Three-time All-Star could be a Phillie by the end of the weekend

MLB insiders think Whit Merrifield will sign in the coming days, and the Phillies are one of five teams interested in his services.
Toronto Blue Jays v Colorado Rockies
Toronto Blue Jays v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

Recent reports from baseball insiders point to the Philadelphia Phillies becoming players in what remains of the free agent market. With a number of high-caliber free agents still available, it seems many interested teams are anticipating contract demands to soften with spring training camps now underway.

The Phillies have been connected to a number of free agents recently, but in the last week, a name that is starting to gain some traction among insiders is versatile All-Star Whit Merrifield.

Following the recent knee injury to left fielder Brandon Marsh and questions about how Johan Rojas' bat will adapt to major league pitching, the Phillies have been looking to address the questionable outfield depth on the current 40-man roster. According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the market for Merrifield is starting to heat up.

While Morosi stopped short of naming the five teams vying for Merrifield's services, the added information in the report that a deal could get done by the end of this weekend points to his market developing swiftly. Are the Phillies one of those five teams?

Insider Robert Murray from FanSided remarked on Thursday's The Baseball Insiders podcast that he has heard the same rumblings about Merrfield's timeline.

"Everything that Jon Morosi put out today about Whit Merrifield, I have heard similar things," Murray said. "So it would not surprise me if a signing ended up happening at some point this week."

While he said that he doesn't know what team will eventually sign Merrifield, he did say the Phillies are one of the teams in on the former All-Star.

"The Phillies, they do have interest in Whit Merrifield," said Murray.

How good of a fit is Whit Merrifield for the Phillies?

Whit Merrifield is a three-time All-Star who is the definition of defensive versatility. Over the course of eight MLB seasons with the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays, Merrifield has appeared at every position on the field with the exception of catcher and shortstop.

Elected to his third All-Star team in 2023, Merrifield hit .272 with 11 home runs, 67 RBI, 26 stolen bases and collected 149 hits in 547 at-bats. Overall in his career, Merrifield is a .284 hitter with 90 home runs and 470 RBI, to go along with 201 steals and 1,189 hits.

This past season in the field, Merrifield spent 84 games at second base and an additional 84 appearances in the outfield (81 in LF). The type of versatility is what the Phillies could be looking for as they could platoon Brandon Marsh with Merrifield with left-handed pitchers on the mound, have an insurance policy if Johan Rojas has any setbacks adjusting to major league pitching, and provide additional depth when Rob Thomson wants to give his starting infielders some rest.

Will the Phillies sign Whit Merrifield? The fit between team and player seems logical. If baseball insiders are correct, we'll know that answer sometime this weekend.