The Yankees were expected to see Andrew Benintendi on Thursday, they just didn’t expect to see the All-Star outfielder in their clubhouse. The Yankees announced they have acquired Benintendi in a deal with Kansas City. Coincidentally, the Royals will be in the Bronx on Thursday night for a four-game run.
ESPN first reported the deal, which will send three minor league pitchers back to Kansas City, on the heels of the Yankees being swept by the Mets in the Subway Series. The Yankees have now gone 14-15 in their last 29 games.
The 28-year-old Benintendi hits .321/.389/.399 this season with three home runs. The lefthanded batter made his first All-Star Game appearance this season and is slated to become a free agent after the season.
The 2021 Gold Glove Award winner Benintendi made 89 left field starts this year and made no mistake in 164 total chances. His 40 outfield assists since 2017 are tied for fourth in the Majors during that period.
During seven Major League seasons with the Red Sox (2016-20) and Royals (2021-22), he hit .280 with 71 home runs and 65 stolen bases in 712 career games. He hit .324/.410/.491 with 45 doubles, nine triples, 14 home runs with runners in scoring position.
Benintendi also has the playoff experience that the Yankees hope will make a difference. He made the postseason three times with the Red Sox, including winning a World Series. He hit .272/.322/.407 with two homeruns and nine RBI in 21 postseason games. In 2018, he started 13 of 14 playoff games for the Red Sox during their World Series run.
The Royals were initially looking for the best prospects for Benintendi.
However, the price dropped somewhat after it became known that Benintendi had not been vaccinated against the corona virus when the Royals were on their way to Toronto and he was therefore not allowed to enter Canada. The Yankees have one more series in Toronto in the regular season and they may have to go to Canada for the playoffs.
The Yankees were interested in adding a left-handed outfield bat to take on the struggling Joey Gallo they got on last year’s trade deadline last year. Gallo hits .161/.285/.343 this season with 12 homeruns and 24 RBI in 230 at bats. He didn’t play in the Yankees’ loss to the Mets on Wednesday-evening.
The Royals spent weeks scouring the Yankees system in the spring and early months of the season, and some in their organization think there are plenty of other prospects to try and make a deal. Even in the lowest-tier Florida Complex League, the source told News earlier this month that there are “a lot of players to consider” in a potential deal.
The Royals get right-handed pitcher Beck Way, who picked the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2020 draft, along with right-handed pitcher Chandler Champlain and left-handed pitcher TJ Sikkema.