Andrew Benintendi is among the prime trade candidates on the Kansas City Royals, who are 26-44. Furthermore, The Boston Globe‘s Peter Abraham reports that the Royals are looking to move the 27-year-old outfielder.
Benintendi has stabilized himself as a sturdy everyday left fielder. He’s a smooth, contact hitter who frequently puts the ball in play and fields his position well. In the midst of a plausible season and hitting the open market after the 2022 MLB season, Benintendi figures to fetch the Royals a reasonable but not lofty trade haul.
Here are three ideal trade destinations for Benintendi.
3. Andrew Benintendi to the Miami Marlins
- Marlins get: Andrew Benintendi
- Royals get: Elieser Hernandez and Cody Morissette
The Marlins are at a crossroads. They’re a competitive, subpar team that doesn’t have a realistic roadmap to the National League Playoffs. Acquiring Benintendi at least gives them a fighting chance.
Miami’s outfield rotation has depth, but no one is hitting the cover off the ball, so to speak, to prevent the franchise from upgrading that aspect of their roster. Benintendi becomes manager Don Mattingly’s new left fielder, beefing up the team’s outfield defense and providing another reputable left-handed hitter.
While having back-to-back left-handed hitters isn’t ideal, Jazz Chisholm and Benintendi would make for a compact duo at the top of the order. Regardless of their season outcome, Miami could re-sign Benintendi and look to make another trade to enhance their offense in the offseason.
- Andrew Benintendi stats (2022): .299/.366/.391, three home runs and 25 RBIs across 261 at-bats
Miami can send Hernandez, one of the countless pitching talents in the Marlins’ system, and Morissette, a compelling infield prospect, to Kansas City for Benintendi. The Marlins make a win-now move and still have a treasure trove of prospect capital while the Royals add to their own and Hernandez jumps into their starting rotation.
All that said, if the Marlins make a substantial trade, they may prefer to make a couple of franchise-altering ones, as opposed to acquiring a player on an expiring contract.
2. Andrew Benintendi to the New York Yankees
- Yankees get: Andrew Benintendi
- Royals get: Miguel Andujar and Hayden Wesneski
The Yankees are 52-20, so they’re not desperate to make a trade. At the same time, records don’t matter in the postseason, and the Yankees need another outfielder. Getting Benintendi would be a savvy play for New York.
If one removes Aaron Judge, who’s arguably the frontrunner for the American League MVP, from the equation, the Yankees have a lacking outfield. Aaron Hicks has been inconsistent in the batter’s box while Joey Gallo is hitting .173. Benintendi becomes manager Aaron Boone’s permanent left fielder.
Versatility is a redeeming quality in New York’s outfield, as Judge, Hicks and Gallo all play multiple positions. In other words, Benintendi playing left doesn’t result in individuals playing out of position. Benintendi provides the Yankees with a contact hitter who evens out their mix of left- and right-handed hitters while further bolstering their accomplished defensive core.
- Andrew Benintendi contract according to Spotrac: in the final season of team control
New York can send Andujar, who has fallen out of favor at the big-league level, and Wesneski, who doesn’t have a spot in the team’s rotation, to Kansas City for Benintendi. The Yankees get a sweet swinger of the bat while the Royals get a utility player who makes a great deal of impact contact and a pitching prospect who’s nearing his MLB debut.
The factor that could stop the Yankees from acquiring Benintendi, though, is them preferring to acquire someone under contract past 2022, as Judge and Gallo are free agents after this season.
1. Andrew Benintendi to the San Diego Padres
- Padres get: Andrew Benintendi
- Royals get: Ryan Weathers
The Padres are 45-29 with Fernando Tatis Jr. not playing a single game. Their success to date is incredible, but the Padres can’t let it get to their head. They need another outfielder, and Benintendi fits the bill.
Jurickson Profar is having a respectable season as the team’s primary left fielder, but he can also play every other non-catching position. Trent Grisham is hitting .191. Wil Myers has his moments but is nursing a knee injury. Nomar Mazara has found success but in a limited role. Benintendi becomes San Diego’s best outfielder.
He provides someone to set the table for the heart of the order. Benintendi’s contact hitting complements the offensive firepower that exists in manager Bob Melvin’s order at full strength. Benintendi fits San Diego’s timeline in that he’s approaching the prime of his MLB career on a team that’s looking to break through in the National League.
With Tatis and Myers presumably back in the fold down the stretch, the Padres will have positional depth and versatility with Profar, Mazara and Ha-Seong Kim on standby.
San Diego can send Weathers, the No. 7 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, to Kansas City for Benintendi. The Padres fill a void while the Royals get a highly touted starting pitcher who doesn’t have a realistic future in the former’s rotation.