The Winter Meetings have come and gone without any additions for the Milwaukee Brewers, but general manager David Stearns may have been laying the groundwork for multiple moves later in the offseason.
That apparently includes checking in with the Kansas City Royals. After a still-recent World Series title, the Royals look to be headed to another full rebuild as they brace to lose Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas in free agency. After mentioning the other day that the Brewers may have interest in second baseman Whit Merrifield, Ken Rosenthal reiterated the Brewers' interest this morning.
Merrifield was a late bloomer that didn't make his big league debut until 2016 at the age of 27 after 6.5 years in the minors. After hitting .283/.323/.392 in 81 games in his rookie year, Merrifield became one of the Royals' most valuable players in 2017, finishing third on the team in WAR and hitting .288/.324/.460 with 19 home runs and 32 doubles, with an AL-leading 34 stolen bases.
With just over one year of service time accrued, Merrifield has five more years of team control remaining and won't be a free agent until after the 2022 season. If a rebuild is happening, the Royals likely would like to sell high on Merrifield while he's playing at his peak.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference