Detroit Tigers should think long and hard about signing Whit Merrifield.
The Detroit Tigers should look to add to their lineup this off-season. One area they could improve is adding an infielder to add some depth. The Tigers should try to find a way to bring Whit Merrifield back to the American League (AL) Central. Merrifield was a Tiger-killer during his time with the Kansas City Royals.
That being said, why not take a chance on him? The Detroit Tigers could bring him in, hoping to lighten the infielders' load in 2024 with a veteran addition. Javier Báez would have some pressure taken off, and Zach McKinstry could fill some holes but not have to take another big step forward, which may be asking a lot. Someone like Merrifield would be an excellent addition.
In addition to helping on the infield, Merrifield can also play the outfield. He's versatile and brings a solid right-handed bat that would boost the Tigers' lineup in 2024. There's no telling exactly what the Tigers are up to this off-season or exactly what they'll do, but they should at least extend an offer to Merrifield.
Merrifield played in 145 games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2023 and earned an All-Star Game nomination. He logged 592 plate appearances, slashing .272/.318/.382 with 27 doubles, 11 home runs, and 67 runs driven in. He also had 36 walks to 101 strikeouts.
Although he may not be as much of an OBP machine as some of the other players the Tigers have seen come through under the Scott Harris era, Merrifield can grind out some at-bats, and the Tigers would be able to utilize him well. Not to mention, Merrifield swiped 26 bases in 2023, which is worth noting, so he also has value on the basepaths.
Detroit may have to pay a bit more for Merrifield than some other options, but it's a move that would surely be worth it. If Detroit grabs Merrifield, he could end up being an impactful and versatile player, bringing benefits to the lineup that help the Tigers manufacture more runs.
The Tigers have some decisions to make, and the team will likely opt to go the cheaper route rather than shell out for someone like Merrifield. But he's not the most expensive option out there, and Merrifield is really someone who could impact the Tigers in a big way. Detroit needs to manufacture more runs in 2024, and Merrifield would surely help accomplish that.