Welp, Whit Merrifield is probably going to get vaccinated after all.
Whit Merrifield, the Royals infielder who made headlines weeks ago for refusing to get vaccinated to make his team’s road trip to Toronto to face the Blue Jays, has been traded to Canada.
Specifically, he has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Merrifield goes to the Blue Jays for Samad Taylor and Max Castillo, per source. https://t.co/wi7YwyqnmF
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) August 2, 2022
In July, Merrifield drew the ire of the mainstream media when he said that he would not get the vaccine because it did not appear to be effective.
“If it was doing what it was supposed to do and stopping the spread of COVID, [then] I would have a little more willingness to take it, but it’s not doing that,” Merrifield said at the time. He also said that if he were playing for a team in contention he might change his mind about getting the vaccine.
However, shortly after saying that, the then-Royals slugger walked back what he called his “poorly articulated” comments.
“I’m sorry that I poorly articulated the point I was trying to make,” Merrifield told reporters. “It’s an uncomfortable topic and I started rambling on and trying to make a point about my passion for winning that had no relevance to the topic that was being discussed. For that I am truly sorry.”
Merrifield apologized further for saying that he might reconsider his vax status if he were traded to a team in more serious playoff contention.
“I didn’t say people misunderstood it, I poorly articulated the point I was trying to say,” Merrifield explained. “If what was standing between me and the playoffs was this vaccine, I would consider getting it. I didn’t say I would get it for another team or wouldn’t get it for this team, it was simply a point about showing how much I value playing in the playoffs.”
Well, the Blue Jays are 12 games out of first, only a game and a half closer to first than the Royals. So, it’s unclear if they would qualify as a team in contention. However, they are a team in Canada where athletes are required to get vaccinated. Merrifield presumably signaled his willingness to get vaccinated; otherwise, the Jays likely wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on a deal that shipped two valued minor league prospects to Kansas City.
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