Former Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi spoke to the media on Thursday, a day after the Red Sox dealt him to the Kansas City Royals.
Benintendi expressed a desire to look to the future and said he was thrilled when he learned he was headed to Kansas City.
“I’m extremely excited,” Benintendi said. “I’m from the Midwest going to a Midwest team. I’m excited, ready to get there, meet people, build those relationships and get going. …
“It’s nice to be wanted. I feel like there’s a sense of pride for me. I want to go perform well obviously, and show them it was worth the trade. I want to go play well for the fans and the organization. I’m excited, and it’s nice to be wanted.”
When asked about his struggles this past season, Benintendi chalked them up to his attempts to hit the ball in the air.
“I was going up there trying to hit for more power,” Benintendi said. “I’m 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, so I know I’m not going to be up there hitting 30 homers a year. Now I kind of understand the player I am, and the player I want to be. Physically, I feel like I’m back to where I need to be. The swing feels good. It’s about putting it all together.”
While most of Benintendi’s press conference was focused on the future, he said he will always remember his time in Boston.
“They drafted me, and I’ll always have that connection with Boston,” Benintendi said. “2018 is a tough one not to mention. That year was unbelievable. Most of all, it’s the relationships I’ve had with teammates, coaches, things like that. You get to meet a lot of people in this game and some of the relationships I had there, I’ll have forever. It’s something I’ll take with me.”
In return for Benintendi, the Red Sox acquired outfielder Franchy Cordero — a power hitter who has seen limited time in the Major Leagues due to a variety of injuries.
Benintendi was part of the outfield that helped lift the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series championship. All three members of that outfield — Mookie Betts, Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. — could be gone this summer, as Bradley Jr. is a free agent.
“There’s a lot of things we can’t control as players,” Benintendi said. “It is what it is. We all understand it’s part of the business, so we move on. I’m ready to start in a new place.”
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