The New York Yankees have been connected to Andrew Benintendi of the Kansas City Royals for several weeks ahead of the trade deadline on August 2. Benintendi is on a rental, one-year, $8.5 million deal for the 2022 season. He will become a free agent in 2023, so the Yankees clearly view him as an immediate starter to fuel their World Series aspirations. Concerns about his vaccination status bubbled to the surface, but the expectation is that he will receive the jab to play for the Yankees.
With Joey Gallo struggling considerably in the batter’s box, we should expect to see more Benintendi in the lineup. Gallo is hitting a measly .161 this season with 12 homers and 24 RBIs, including a 38.1% strikeout rate. His clutch factor has been negligent this year, but that is where Benintendi makes a significant impact.
Heroics is simply built into Benintendi‘s bloodstream, considering he’s hitting .294 with a 38% on-base rate with runners in scoring position. He’s tallied 25 hits, 30 RBIs, 14 walks, and just 12 strikeouts in 85 at-bats with RISP.
On the season, Benintendi is batting .320 with a 38.7% on-base rate, including three homers and 39 RBIs. He’s not going to offer the same slugging metrics as Gallo, but he makes a ton of contact, strikes out rarely, and gets on base at an incredible clip.
Looking at what the Yankees had to give up to acquire him, it seems as if general manager Brian Cashman fleeced the Kansas City Royals.
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The Yankees gave up:
Way is the most talented of the group at 22 years old. The Pennsylvania native was drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Northwest Florida State College. This season with High-A Hudson Valley, he hosts a 3.73 ERA over 72.1 innings. Way projects as a future relief pitcher, but he is still a shot in the dark as an MLB player down the road.
Chandler Champlain has made 16 appearances this year with Tampa in Low-A. He features a 4.30 ERA over 73.1 innings pitched. He’s another huge boom or bust candidate with minimal minor-league experience to his name. Chances are, Champlain won’t end up becoming anything special, and if he does, it’ll be 3–4 years down the line.
The Yankees gave up another pitcher in TJ Sikkema. The 24-year-old currently features with Hudson Valley in High-A, posting a 2.48 ERA over 36.1 innings pitched. He’s giving up 21 hits and struck out 54 batters in that sample size, but since he’s still in Single-A ball, the Yankees have no idea what he will end up coming down the road.
As you can see, all three players Cashman gave up are unestablished and haven’t even reached Double-A in Somerset yet. This was a fantastic deal for the Yankees to acquire Benintendi on a rental and have a chance to extend him if he performs admirably wearing pinstripes.