Whit Merrifield on Sept. 14, 2021. Sep 14, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) is congratulated by teammates after scoring against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Canadian COVID-19 vaccination mandate for visitors has led to lots of discussion around visiting MLB and NBA players who have chosen not to be vaccinated and thus, have wound up sitting out series in Canada. What’s perhaps even more interesting than the “I will not get vaccinated no matter what” players like the Brooklyn NetsKyrie Irving is the numerous baseball players who have not gotten vaccinated yet (and have missed road games against the Toronto Blue Jays over that), but have implied they might make that decision if they wound up on an American League East team with plenty of remaining games against the Jays, or on an AL team that might conceivably have to travel to Toronto in the postseason.  Some of the most notable comments there came from Kansas City Royals‘ second baseman Whit Merrifield, and now his comments will be put to the test.

After missing the Royals’ series in Canada last month (along with nine teammates) over his refusal of a vaccine, Merrifield said he might get vaccinated if traded to a playoff team. He claimed “Something happens and I happen to get on a team that has a chance to go play in Canada in the postseason, maybe that changes.” Well, something did happen, and Merrifield now has a chance to go play in Canada even ahead of the postseason. That’s because the Jays traded for him at the trade deadline Tuesday, as MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported:

Of course, Twitter had many reactions to that:

It may be on the nose, but it’s certainly notable. We’ll see if and when Merrifield gets vaccinated, and if and when he’s able to enter Canada. And we’ll see how he does with the Jays. The 33-year-old Merrifield (seen above last September) is hitting .240/.290/.352 this season, well below his career averages of .286/.332/.425.

[Mark Feinsand on Twitter; photo from Jay Biggerstaff/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.