New Blue Jays star Merrifield gets vaccinated so he can now play in Canada

Aug 4 2022, 11:26 pm

Whit Merrifield has joined the Toronto Blue Jays and is suiting up for his new team tonight in Minnesota.

Great, but what about when the team goes back to Toronto after their road trip wraps up on August 10?

Merrifield was unvaccinated when his former team, the Kansas City Royals, visited Toronto last month. He, along with many of his Royals teammates, was unable to cross the border into Canada due to Canadian law requiring vaccination against COVID-19 for non-Canadians.

So when the Blue Jays traded for the two-time All-Star on Tuesday, many wondered if he’d be available only for road games. In order to play in Canada, he would need to get vaccinated.

Today, the 33-year-old second baseman provided an answer, saying “yep” when asked by Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae if he had received the vaccine.

“For a couple weeks now, I have understood that this might be a possibility,” said Merrifield. “I’ll be in Toronto when the team goes there.”

Merrifield wouldn’t elaborate on when he was vaccinated, but in order to travel to Canada, he would need to be 14 days clear of two shots of a two-dose vaccine, or more likely, 14 days clear of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Had Merrifield continued to refuse the vaccine, he would have missed all games played in Toronto, and wouldn’t have been paid for any of the days he missed due to being unvaccinated.

Merrifield, who will suit up wearing jersey No. 1 in his Blue Jays debut, is hitting .240 on the season, with six home runs, 42 RBIs, and an OPS of .643.

An All-Star in 2019 and 2021, Merrifield has a .286 batting average with a .757 OPS in 863 games with the Royals since making his MLB debut in 2016.

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