South Carolina Baseball: Former Gamecock, MLB All-Star signs new contract with World Series contender

South Carolina baseball alum Whit Merrifield has signed a new contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

South Carolina baseball alum Whit Merrifield
South Carolina baseball alum Whit Merrifield / Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina baseball fans almost unanimously have the same "favorite Gamecock moment." Back in 2010, in the final game in Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, the long-elusive College World Series title belonged to the Gamecocks as Whit Merrifield drove in Scott Wingo with a line drive base hit to right field.

It was a fitting send-off for Merrifield who went off to the professional ranks after being drafted by the Kansas City Royals. After a few years toiling away in Minor League Baseball, Merrifield finally got his call to the Big Leagues, and he has put together a very nice career. A three-time MLB All-Star, he has led the league in hits twice, doubles once, triples once, and steals three times.

Now, after spending his entire career with the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays, Merrifield will play for a new team in 2024. On Friday, according to a report from The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, the super-utility man signed a 1-year, $8 Million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. There is an option on the deal that could push it to 2-years, $16 Million.

Merrifield is entering one of the best divisions in all of Major League Baseball. The Atlanta Braves are the best team in the league, the New York Mets had a record-setting payroll in 2023, and the Phillies knocked off the Braves in the 2022 and 2023 MLB Postseasons.

Merrifield is not the only former South Carolina baseball star playing for a new team in 2024 as Jonah Bride was recently traded to the Miami Marlins (from the Oakland Athletics), Cody Morris was traded to the New York Yankees (from the Cleveland Guardians), and TJ Hopkins was traded to the San Francisco Giants (from the Cincinnati Reds).

Merrifield's Gamecock outfield-mate Jackie Bradley, Jr. is a free agent who is looking for a new contract after offseason retirement rumors. Former Gamecock left-hander Jordan Montgomery is also a free agent and is one of the top pitchers on the market this offseason.

Next. South Carolina Baseball: Ranking the top pitchers in Gamecock history. South Carolina Baseball: Ranking the top pitchers in Gamecock history. dark