3 Royals trade targets who should interest Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians Andrew Benintendi (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
Cleveland Guardians Andrew Benintendi (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Guardians
Cleveland Guardians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Guardians potential target: Whit Merrifield

Whit Merrifield is no stranger to Cleveland Guardians trade rumors, and he should continue to be in the conversation before this year’s deadline.

Kansas City is in the middle of a disappointing season. I’m not sure  their fans thought they’d win the division, but no one thought they’d be this bad.

Benintendi’s name will dominate trade chatter, but according to the New York’s Post Jon Heyman, Kansas City is talking seriously about dealing Merrifield.

The Royals are talking “more seriously” about the versatile Whit Merrifield in trade discussions than ever before, one rival exec said. He’s a free agent after next year.

I’m not sure what type of haul the Royals can expect to get for Merrifield, who is in his age 33 season. He’d be under club control for a 1 1/2 seasons, but his numbers are in decline, as he’s batting .237 (.620 OPS).

For what it’s worth, Merrifield is heating up some, and he’s versatile. He can play second base or right field. The later spot is obviously the greatest need, although Nolan Jones will be given a chance to secure that job while Oscar Gonzalez sits on the IL.

Can they get him? Yes. He’s making $7 million this year and can make that again in 2023 if he spends fewer than 110 days on the IL. He has a mutual option for 2024, which will pay him $16 million. Cleveland wouldn’t be interested in paying that, but can buy him out for $500,000.

Remember, the Guardians are young. They’re not breaking the prospect bank for a 33-year-old with declining numbers.