With the trade deadline in about a month’s time, the Blue Jays will have to decide whether they will be buying, or staying put this year after a 41-35 start to the season. In recent years, the team has traded several prospects for MLB level players in order to make deep runs in the playoffs, though salvaging a piece of the franchise’s future. Let's re-grade some of the recent trades, knowing what we know now.
Blue Jays acquire 2B/OF Whit Merrifield from the Royals in exchange for INF Samad Taylor and SP Maximo Castillo
The Blue Jays acquired Whit Merrifield at the trade deadline of the 2022 season, sending Samad Taylor and Max Castillo to Kansas City. Taylor was just recently called up to the major league, though he’s shown a strong ability to get on base and provide a solid speed threat in the minors. Castillo has pitched a total of 53.1 innings at the major league level and holds a 5.74 ERA. He’s also struggled at the minor league level since being traded to the Royals.
Merrifield was experiencing the worst season of his career in 2022, though he seemed much more like himself once he became a member of the Blue Jays, batting .281 with an OPS+ of 120 in 44 games. This season however, the former South Carolina Gamecock seems much more comfortable and has been contributing at an All-Star level with a batting average of .300 with 18 stolen bases and a 112 OPS+.
The addition of Merrifield has been a valuable one, both for his offensive abilities and his defensive abilities all around the diamond. His veteran leadership also might go under appreciated from fans, but not his teammates. Overall, Merrifield makes this Blue Jays team better right now, and you can’t say the same for the players traded for him.