MLB News

White Sox have ‘discussed' acquiring Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield: reports

Both play for the Royals, an organization that has strong ties to the White Sox

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The White Sox have "discussed" the possibility of trying to acquire Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez and second baseman Whit Merrifield, according to WSCR's Bruce Levine.

With a lengthy offseason ahead, Levine suggested they might start by acquiring two players with strong connections to the team.

"It might start by making an offer for veteran Royals catcher Salvador Perez on the trade market and with a pursuit of second baseman/outfielder Whit Merrifield in free agency. The White Sox have discussed both of those possibilities at length, sources said," Levine wrote.

The Royals are open to parting ways with Perez via trade, according to the report. Merrifield has a mutual option for the 2024 season, meaning he could become a free agent as soon as this winter.

Catcher and second base are two positions the White Sox need upgrades.

Yasmani Grandal mentioned toward the end of the season he plans to "test the market" of free agency ahead of his contract expiration. The team tried Korey Lee behind the plate by the season's end, but he struggled at the plate, hitting .077.

For the past two seasons, the White Sox have relied on the venerable Elvis Andrus at second base. They've filled the gaps with Lenyn Sosa and Romy Gonzalez, both of whom the White Sox have expressed their satisfaction with. But Merrifield would be a stronger fix in the middle infield, not considering his age (34).

As aforementioned, both of the players' ties to the Sox are strong. Pedro Grifol was a coach with the Royals from 2013-22. Newly promoted general manager Chris Getz worked in the Royals' front office from 2014-16. Merrifield and Perez have been in Kansas City since 2016 and 2013, respectively.

Perez was eager to join NBC Sports Chicago's White Sox Talk podcast immediately when the White Sox announced they had hired Grifol to become their new manager.

“One hundred percent he was ready to be a manager the last three or four years,” Perez said about Grifol last March. “I hope he’s going to be (a manager) in the big leagues for twenty years ...  I think he’s going to be one of the best managers in the game.

“Everybody knows that I love him like my dad. I seriously thank god that he put Pedro in my life. I’ve got five Gold Gloves. At least four I won because of him."

Last season, Perez hit .255 with a .714 OPS. He hit 23 home runs and knocked in 80 RBIs in 140 games. Merrifield hit .272 from the plate with a .700 OPS. He hit 11 baseballs out of the park and drove in 67 runs.

Perez has three more seasons left on his contract. He's slated to make $20 million next season. Merrifield's mutual option is worth $18 million for next season.

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