4. Whit Merrifield
For Whit Merrifield, he has certainly had a renaissance year for the Jays, in that he has regained some of his prior All-Star form with his formidable play this season. He has helped fuel the Jays’ offensive attack this year, both at the plate and on the basepaths. Overall, for the 2023 season, Merrifield has hit a solid .278 with a .712 OPS, along with 64 runs scored, 27 doubles, 11 home runs, 65 RBI, and a whopping 26 stolen bases.
With the ability to play second base along with multiple positions in the outfield, Merrifield definitely provides the flexibility in the lineup that every manager would like to have. The fact that he could perform admirably as an utilityman makes him even that much more valuable in the long run.
Despite his value and versatility, Merrifield will probably not be back with the Jays following this season. At age 34, he will most likely be looking for that last long-term contract that would take him right to his twilight years by cashing in now after a huge bounce back season. In addition, after his impressive start to the season, along with his hot streak during mid-summer, he has definitely showed some signs of slowing down somewhat in the past month. Not only that, but Cavan Biggio has recently stepped up big time lately both at the plate and in the field. Biggio is slowly but surely re-establishing himself as a viable option as a starter going forward for the Jays as he can also play multiple positions in the infield and outfield just like Merrifield. Consequently, with Merrifield likely heading towards a huge pay day, and to avoid utilityman redundancy, going with Biggio once again beyond this season appears to be the most logistical choice.
Verdict: Unlikely he re-signs.