Andrew Benintendi was once a key part of the future of the Boston Red Sox. Now, he's on the way out.
The Red Sox outfielder was traded to the Kansas City Royals as part of a three-team trade on Wednesday. In return, the Red Sox recieved outfielder Franchy Cordero and pitching prospect Josh Winckowski from the New York Mets, plus three players to be named later from the Mets and Royals.
The Mets received outfield prospect Khalil Lee from the Royals.
The #RedSox today traded OF Andrew Benintendi and cash considerations to the KC Royals, in exchange for OF Franchy Cordero & 2 players to be named later.
Additionally, the Red Sox received minor league RHP Josh Winckowski & a player to be named later from the New York Mets.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) February 11, 2021
Red Sox move on from Andrew Benintendi
The deal ends a six-year tenure in the Red Sox organization for Benintendi, and it was once hoped he would be around for a lot longer than that.
After a college career at Arkansas that saw him win the Golden Spikes Award, Benintendi was ranked the top overall prospect in baseball by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline entering the 2017 season. The former seventh overall pick appeared to be living up to the hype after finishing second in the Rookie of the Year race that season.
His best season came during Boston's World Series run in 2018, when he hit .290/.366/.465 with 16 homers, 21 steals and 87 RBIs. In his age-23 season, he was the first or second hitter in 140 games for the best offense in baseball.
What happened next, well, Boston never really figured that out. Benintendi's numbers were down across the board in 2019, and his 2020 season was a disaster, going 4-for-39 at the plate before being shut down due to a rib injury.
Benintendi is now 26 years old and two years removed from his last good season, but there have been worse candidates for a bounceback season. There should be plenty of opportunity for playing time in the Kansas City outfield.
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