B-B-B-Benny and the Yanks.
Andrew Benintendi is going to get an opportunity to see the other side of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, as the Royals traded the outfielder to New York on Wednesday night for a trio of A-ball prospects.
The trade comes at a just the right time for the scuffling Yankees: Now 14-14 in their last 28 games, New York needed a sparkplug for the offense, and that could come by way of the 28-year-old outfielder.
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Here’s how the trade grades out on both sides:
Andrew Benintendi trade grades
When Benintendi started hitting, it felt like destiny that this deal was going to be made. Among the bats available on the trade market, Benintendi made the most sense for New York.
With the move, the Yankees fix the Joey Gallo mistake from July of 2021, adding a quality contact bat to a lineup that needs it while sacrificing a small bit of power that Benintendi hasn’t exhibited this year (three home runs, .398 slugging percentage). That should be fine in a lineup that features plenty of power already.
Benintendi brings a lot back: As a team, the Yankees rank 19th in baseball with a 76.3 percent contact rate. Benintendi should provide a little bit of a lift, making contact 82.6 percent of the time. The Yankees rank second in baseball with a 21.6 percent strikeout rate. Benintendi is 20th at 13.3 percent (minimum 250 plate appearances).
It’s the first move of what should be a big trade deadline for the Yankees, who need to stop their skid with upgrades.
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The Royals didn’t get a major quality return, but they got volume with three prospects for a rental bat. That’s a good deal, even if all three guys have yet to progress past High-A ball.
— Beck Way heads to Kansas City in the deal. His fastball sits mid-90s with good breaking stuff, but command issues may push him to the bullpen over the rotation in the future.
— The Royals also get lefty hurler T.J. Sikkema, also in High-A ball. Sikkema is 24 and in High-A, which should tell you about his future prospects at the major league level.
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— Chandler Champlain also goes back to K.C. in the deal. The third pitcher in the trade, the 23-year-old has a very good breaking ball with a mid-90s fastball. He has good control and command but will have to develop a third pitch to stick at the major-league level.
The Royals lose just a little bit of credit here for not finding a guy who’s hit Double-A. All three guys also have a bit of a limited upside, but the more lottery tickets, the better. That’s especially true in a farm system that’s flush with position player talent.