Red Sox

Former Red Sox standout reportedly a trade deadline target for the Yankees

Andrew Benintendi could be one of the top names on the move this trade deadline season.

Andrew Benintendi played with the Red Sox for five seasons. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

A former Red Sox rising star could become the latest player to play for both teams in the sport’s most iconic rivalry.

Outfielder Andrew Benintendi, now with the Royals, is a trade target of the Yankees, The New York Post‘s Jon Heyman and Dan Martin reported. The 61-24 Yankees don’t have many glaring weaknesses on their roster, but they want to upgrade in right field, looking to move Joey Gallo and potentially bring in Benintendi.

However, the Yankees don’t appear close to making a deal for Benintendi as they view the Royals’ asking price as “too high” according to Heyman and Martin. The Royals appear to be asking for “at least one good prospect” in a trade for Benintendi, Heyman and Martin added. The 31-52 Royals are primed to be sellers ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline, and with Benintendi on the final year of his contract Kansas City might have an incentive to get a deal done before then.

Benintendi looked to be a potential star for years to come in his early seasons with the Red Sox. After getting selected seventh overall in the 2015 MLB Draft, Benintendi quickly rose through the ranks and made his MLB debut in August 2016. Benintendi hit .295 in the final months of that year and carried that momentum into 2017, hitting .271/.352/.424 with 20 homers and 90 RBIs to finish second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.

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Benintendi’s emergence continued in 2018. In the regular season, he hit .290/.366/.465 with 16 homers and 87 RBIs, helping the Red Sox win 108 games. In the postseason that year, he hit well in a couple of series. In the ALDS win over the Yankees, Benintendi went 4-for-14 (.286) with three RBIs and three walks. In the World Series against the Dodgers, Benintendi went 6-for-18 (.333) to help the Red Sox win the title.

Following the Red Sox’ World Series win, Benintendi’s performance at the plate dipped. He had a .266 batting average and struck out a career-high 140 times in 2019, hitting 13 homers with 68 RBIs. Benintendi’s hitting took a massive dip in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, posting just a .103 batting average, and didn’t hit a homer in 14 games.

The Red Sox shipped Benintendi to the Royals following that season, getting Franchy Cordero, Josh Winckowski, Freddy Valdez, Grant Gambrell, and Luis De La Rosa as part of a three-team deal with the Mets. The change of scenery has done Benintendi well. He hit .276/.324/.442 with 17 homers and won a Gold Glove Award. Benintendi’s hitting .317/.387/.402 with three homers this season.

While the Yankees have their eyes set on a former Red Sox player, Boston hasn’t really been linked to anyone in particular yet. The Red Sox are reportedly looking to add a pair of right-handed relievers prior to the trade deadline.

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The Red Sox and Yankees conclude their four-game series on Sunday night.

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