Yankees Mock Trade: Solving left field with the Kansas City Royals

andrew benintendi, yankees, royals

Heading into the 2022 season, the New York Yankees believed that Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo would lock down two starting positions in the outfield. However, they have both struggled considerably to generate production offensively. The pair have just seven combined homers on the season. Comparably, Aaron Judge has 21.

Hicks and Gallo have also curated a few defensive hiccups, which have put the Yankees between a rock and a hard place. General manager Brian Cashman could be viewing the trade deadline as a potential solution for the outfield, replacing one of the two starting spots for the remainder of the season.

Reports stated earlier this off-season that Gallo was a potential trade piece with the San Diego Padres, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Cashman replace him, given his statistics this season.

However, there is only one outfielder that makes financial sense. The Yankees would have to give up too much to acquire Ian Happ from the Chicago Cubs or Bryan Reynolds from Pittsburgh.

Mock trade concept:

Yankees give:

-Trey Sweeney

The Yankees have a ton of shortstop prospects climbing the system, so they feel comfortable giving up Trey Sweeney in this deal. Sweeney is in high-A ball, hitting .199 with five homers and 18 RBIs over 153 plate appearances. He hosts a 29.4% strikeout rate and a 7.8% walk rate. Sweeney has had a difficult time adjusting to the next level of baseball, but he is a quality prospect that could end up becoming a solid MLB player down the road. This is by far the most valuable piece of the package given his youth at 22 years old.

-Estevan Florial

Estevan Florial has struggled considerably to take his game to the next level. Florial is dominating with Triple-A the season, hitting .281 with for homers and 13 RBIs.

However, over 12 plate appearances in the MLB this season, Florial has failed to generate a hit and has a 33.3% strikeout rate. His strikeout rate is still a bit too high with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to justify earning an everyday job with the top team. At 24 years old, the Yankees might be better off capitalizing on his value before it starts to decrease significantly.

-Miguel Andujar

After being sent back down to Scranton, Yankees reserve outfielder Miguel Andujar requested a trade this past Friday. Andujar has served mainly as a supplemental option, and given his increase in defensive efficiency, he deserves an opportunity in the MLB to showcase consistency. Unfortunately, the Yankees simply don’t have a position to give him, so including him in the trade as a kicker would satisfy his demands.

Andujar is preparing to hit arbitration in 2023, so the Yankees likely won’t be willing to pay him anyway.

Royals give:

-Andrew Benintendi 

In return for this package of prospects, the Yankees get a season rental for Andrew Benintendi.

The former Boston Red Sox star is having a stellar season with the Royals, who are struggling this year. Benintendi is hitting .321 with a 38.4% on base rate and .415 slugging percentage. He has only hit two homers but has generated 21 RBIs and hosts a splendid 14.4% strikeout rate. Last season with the Royals, Benintendi smacked 17 homers, so he’s more than capable of hitting for power.

Benintendi is also a lefty, so he can take advantage of the short right porch in Yankee Stadium. He’s capable of spreading the ball out to all portions of the field, making him an extremely consistent and reliable hitter. He doesn’t have the best arm in the world, but featuring in left field should help suppress that liability.

Adding an offensive piece that gets on base at nearly a 40% clip would be a huge addition to the Yankees’ batting order.

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