Phillies agree to one-year deal with Merrifield

In this Sept. 20, 2023, file photo, Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield holds a throw to first base during a game against the Yankees in New York. (Associated Press)
In this Sept. 20, 2023, file photo, Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield holds a throw to first base during a game against the Yankees in New York. (Associated Press)

The Philadelphia Phillies have reached a contract agreement Friday with utility infielder Whit Merrifield, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press.

The agreement is for a one-year, $8-million deal that includes an $8-million club option for 2025 with a $1-million buyout, a second person told the AP.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet announced.

The 35-year-old Merrifield is a three-time All-Star and hit .272 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI last season with the Toronto Blue Jays. He has 201 stolen bases and led the American League with the Kansas City Royals three times. He topped the American League with 206 hits and 10 triples in 2019.

Merrifield should provide a solid right-handed bat off the bench and also play the outfield. The Phillies entered spring training without starting left fielder Brandon Marsh, who had left knee surgery last week that was expected to sideline him for three-to-four weeks.

Merrifield has mostly played second base with the Royals but was an outfielder last year. He has proven to be dependable, playing every game for Kansas City from 2019-21.

Merrifield and Toronto both declined his $18-million mutual option for 2024, allowing him to become a free agent.

The Phillies are coming off consecutive trip to the National League Championship Series, losing in seven games last season to Arizona. They have had a quiet offseason outside of signing ace Aaron Nola to a seven-year, $172-million contract.