Merrifield and Blue Jays decline $18 million mutual option, allowing him to become free agent

TORONTO (AP) — Whit Merrifield and the Toronto Blue Jays both declined his $18 million mutual option for 2024, allowing the second baseman and outfielder to become a free agent.

Merrifield gets a $500,000 buyout because the option was declined. The option was part of a two-year contract that paid $14.25 million and included salaries of $7 million in 2022 and $6.75 million this year, including a $4 million escalator because he was on the injured list for fewer than 109 days in 2022.

Acquired from Kansas City on Aug. 2, 2022, the 34-year-old Merrifield hit .272 this year with 11 homers and 67 RBIs this year.