KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have acquired infielder Samad Taylor and right-handed pitcher Max Castillo from Toronto for infielder Whit Merrifield.
Taylor, who turned 24 on July 11, has posted a .258/.337/.426 (63-for-244, .763 OPS) slashline in 70 games for Triple-A Buffalo this season, while ranking 5th in the International League with 23 stolen bases. Originally drafted by Cleveland with their 10th round selection in the 2016 MLB Draft out of Corona High School (Calif.), he has played in parts of six minor league seasons, posting a .758 OPS with 157 extra-base hits and 136 stolen bases over 470 games. He was acquired by Toronto on July 31, 2017 as part of a three-player trade that sent right-handed reliever Joe Smith to Cleveland.
Castillo, 23, made his Major League debut on June 19 of this season vs. the Yankees and has pitched to a 3.05 ERA (7 ER in 20.2 IP) while appearing in 9 games (2 starts). In parts of six minor league seasons, Castillo has gone 45-18 with a 3.74 ERA (215 ER in 517.1 IP) with 474 strikeouts and 152 walks, good for an 8.2 K/9 rate for his career, while 97 of his 107 career outings were starts. In 2021, his 11 wins were the most among all Double-A pitchers. Castillo originally signed with Toronto as an international free agent out of Caracas, Venezuela on Sept. 25, 2015.
Merrifield, 33, appeared in 95 games with the Royals this season, posting a .240/.290/.352 (92-for-383) slashline with 30 extra-base hits and 15 stolen bases. He collected his 1,000th career hit with a double at Yankee Stadium this past Saturday, and his 863 games played as a Royal rank 19th in franchise history. Merrifield was drafted by Kansas City in the 9th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of the University of South Carolina.