Blue Jays trade for unvaxxed former All-Star who couldn't enter Canada

Aug 2 2022, 11:00 pm

Well, this is interesting.

The Toronto Blue Jays have swung a last-minute deal to acquire Whit Merrifield from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for right-handed pitcher Max Castillo and minor league outfielder Samad Taylor on MLB trade deadline day.

A 33-year-old second baseman, Merrifield has a .240 batting average, .643 OPS, with six home runs and 42 RBIs in 95 games this season.

Whether or not the two-time All-Star plays in Toronto at all remains to be seen though.

That’s because Merrifield was one of 10 unvaccinated Kansas City players that couldn’t play in Toronto when the Royals visited in mid-July.

Now that he’s a member of the Blue Jays, will Merrifield get his shots? The South Carolina native won’t be allowed into Canada if he doesn’t, and he won’t get paid for the games he misses.

Merrifield will only be allowed to play games in the United States, where the Blue Jays play half their games until he gets vaccinated.

“Right or wrong, I didn’t do it on a whim,ā€ Merrifield said last month of his choice not to get vaccinated, per Anne Rogers of ā€œIt’s been a long thought process. Because I understand what Canada has in place right now. That’s the only reason that I would think about getting it at this point, is to go to Canada. That might change down the road. Something happens and I happen to get on a team that has a chance to go play in Canada in the postseason, maybe that changes.”

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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