The AL East has been a massacre through the 2022 MLB season with all 5 groups within the division over .500 a day after the commerce deadline. The New York Yankees are main the pack with the perfect document within the American League, however the Toronto Blue Jays are hanging powerful in second place with a document with that will be ok to steer two divisions throughout baseball.
The Blue Jays tried to load up on the commerce deadline with a number of acquisitions. Their largest addition was Whit Merrifield, the 33-year-old second baseman they acquired from the Royals for pitcher Max Castillo and infielder Samad Taylor. Merrifield has a beautiful resume: he led baseball in hits in 2018 and 2019, he’s led the league in steals three completely different instances, and he has a repute as a stable defender. Whereas he’s struggled on the plate this yr with a .240/.290/.352 slash line, including Merrifield is the kind of transfer Toronto wanted to probably make a deep playoff run.
There’s just one drawback. Merrifield shouldn’t be vaccinated in opposition to Covid, and Canada requires everybody who enters the nation to be vaccinated. Up to now, Merrifield nonetheless hasn’t indicated he’ll get vaccinated so he can play in dwelling video games. The Blue Jays stated the group will depart the choice as much as him.
As for Whit Merrifield, John Schneider says, “nothing new,” re vax standing. “Clearly we all know he wasn’t there in Toronto, however completely as much as him. And I am certain that he is had conversations along with his household and different individuals. So, you recognize, we’re leaving that call as much as him.”
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) August 3, 2022
When the Royals performed the Blue Jays in Toronto final month, Merrifield was one in all 10 gamers on the group to not journey with the membership as a result of he wasn’t vaccinated. Merrifield did beforehand say he would take into account getting vaccinated if it meant he may play within the playoffs. The Blue Jays are at the moment in postseason place by main the Wild Card race.
Would the Blue Jays actually commerce for Merrifield — and quit a superb arm in Castillo to do it — with out understanding if he’d get vaccinated? A number of insiders hinted on the time of the deal that Merrifield will need to have modified his thoughts. It doesn’t sound prefer it up to now.
Merrifield solely must look to Andrew Wiggins to see an instance of an athlete getting the vaccine and thriving. Wiggins was initially hesitant to get the required vaccine to play for the Golden State Warriors final season. He finally received it, and performed a essential function within the Warriors’ run to the 2022 NBA championship.
Is Whit Merrifield subsequent? The first step is getting the vaccine. He’s undoubtedly not going to be a part of a playoff run in Toronto with out getting that far.