On JD Bunkis's podcast, Ben Nicholson-Smith said that he did not believe Merrifield would come back. Based on some of the player's comments on John Schneider's handling of José Berríos in the Wild Card Series, this feels like an obvious one. Merrifield said he "hated the move", carrying a tone that sounded like the words were being spoken by a player happy to be on his way out.
In about a year and a half of games on the Blue Jays, Merrifield was an extremely valuable asset who filled a variety of different roles. He led off, he stole bases, he played all over the field and he provided the club with another experienced, level-headed veteran who would serve as a mentor to some of the team's younger players.
In a total of 189 regular season games for the Blue Jays, the speedy veteran combined to hit 32 doubles and 16 home runs with 83 RBI. On the other end of that, he was caught stealing a career-high 10 times this past season and somehow did not hit a single triple. Sure, Rogers Centre is not exactly a triples haven, but the fact that he failed to hit a single one is surprising.
Even before Merrifield's comments after the Wild Card game, it felt like he was not likely to return. With the emergence of Davis Schneider as the club's second baseman of the future and Addison Barger on-hand as another INF/OF option, there appears to be better internal options. Look for Merrifield's expensive team option to be declined.