MLB trade grades: Blue Jays land Whit Merrifield in last-minute deal with Royals

AP Photo/Ashley Landis

The trade: The Toronto Blue Jays acquire IF/OF Whit Merrifield from the Kansas City Royals for RHP Max Castillo and IF Samad Taylor.

After years of his name floating around in the deadline whisper mill, Merrifield was finally actually traded. He is headed to the Blue Jays, with whom he has a shot at his first postseason experience. The acquisition was the biggest of the day for Toronto, which was busy in a low-key kind of way before the deadline. The Royals, meanwhile, bid goodbye to a longtime favorite and say hello to a couple of more prospects to aid them in their lengthening rebuild.

So, let's grade one of the final trades of the day.

We're going to touch on the Jays' other deals on Tuesday below and try to judge each move on its own merits. But I do so while acknowledging that Toronto's overall deadline maneuvering feels underwhelming. This trade is about a position player, but what the Blue Jays needed most was to add some postseason-worthy pitching. I'm not sure they accomplished that. The Jays' roster is better, but is it better when you think of it in terms of facing the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees in the playoffs?