Breaking News: Yanks Get Benintendi
In an outfield market that has Juan Soto and Ian Happ, a move for Benintendi seems lackluster... Tweets and Musings inside.
Note: The prospects going back are Beck Way, Chandler Champlain, and T.J. Sikkema. Sherman mistyped two of their names.
If you told me a month ago that the New York Yankees brought in Andrew Benintendi to give the team a new outfielder (as opposed to Joey Gallo) I would've been through the roof. Then, I learned about the year and versatility of Ian Happ from the Chicago Cubs and could imagine a 2-player trade where the Yankees get better at outfield and bring back David Robertson for the bullpen. (Which can still- and should- happen for D-Rob!)
Then, about a week ago the wheels fell off as the Washington Nationals announced that they are willing to hear offers on Juan Soto. That changed everything. It also probably dropped the market for Benintendi. That's likely why the Yankees pounced now.
Now, Benintendi is in the midst of a great year. He's going to immediately replace Joey Gallo (thank goodness) and could serve as a new lead-off hitter with his .321 batting average this year. I'll post a sample "everyone's healthy" line-up at the bottom of the post for how I think Benintendi could work in the rotation. I'm not going to do a deep-dive into Benintendi's stats in 2022 right now, but here are this years basic stats:
92 Games, 386 PA's, 343 AB's, .321/.389/.399 (.788 OPS/124 OPS+), 110 Hits, 14 Doubles, 2 Triples, 3 Home Runs, 39 RBI's, 4 Stolen Bases (2 Caught Stealing), 39 Walks, 52 Strikeouts, +2.4 bWAR/+2.1 fWAR
I'm whelmed by this news though. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Benintendi and the Yankees having a former Red Sox on the team is a bit exciting as the Red Sox have fallen to being the 5th team in the AL East. However, right now, all I can think about is how I am hoping the Washington Nationals hold onto Soto past August 2nd.
The prospects the Yankees traded for Benintendi are nothing worth losing sleep over, which is likely again why Cashman made this deal. He's been very risk-adverse when trading prospects (see: Frazier & Andujar for Cole) and from this deal he's moving away from the Yankees #19 (Sikkema) and #21 (Way) prospects.
As a baseball move, it's likely a good one. BaseballTradeValues indicates it's a pretty close trade in value with Benintendi going to the Yankees (+8.1 MTV) beating out the combo (+7.4 MTV) of Way (+4.6 MTV), Sikkema (+2.0 MTV), and Champlain (+0.8 MTV).
Hey, Benintendi was an All-Star for the Royals this year. Benintendi is immediately going to make the Yankees better. I'm a fan of Benintendi and I'm excited he is a Yankee and I am hoping he can bring a fire and energy that excites this club again (they have a losing record in July...).
I just wonder who in their right mind is going to take Gallo off the Yankees hands.
Sample (Fully Healthy) Starting Line-Up:
Andrew Benintendi (LF)
Aaron Judge (CF)
Anthony Rizzo (1B)
Giancarlo Stanton (RF)
DJ LeMahieu (3B)
Gleyber Torres (2B)
Josh Donaldson (DH)
Jose Trevino (C)