The New York Yankees traded Chandler Champlain, T.J. Sikkema, and Beck Way for outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
Benintendi’s acquisition helps in dampening the effect of a walk-off loss to the New York Mets. Team manager Aaron Boone said in an interview with Sports Illustrated that having Benintendi would strengthen the team’s lineup and provide some balance.
“Benintendi’s a great hitter,” Boone said in his interview with Sports Illustrated.
“Gets on base at a really high clip. Hits from the left side. So, yeah, gives you some balance. If we get him, that’s another really good big league hitter to add to the mix that’s gonna lengthen out our lineup and potentially give you that balance you look for. If we get him, I’ll be excited to write his name in the lineup.”
The 28-year-old Benintendi is currently in his best offensive season. He is hitting .321/.389/.399 throughout 92 games, earning him his first All-Star. He is also a winner of the Gold Glove Award.
He was one of the Royals players who did not travel with the team during Kansas City’s recent trip to Toronto due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19.
“He’s a really good player in the middle of an All-Star season,” team manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s got a track record of success with the  Red Sox championship run. Obviously he was a really good player for them, but he’s putting together a really good year for the Royals right now.”
The Yankees have one more series against the Toronto Blue Jays this season in late September. The Yankees may also be playing against them in the postseason.
Benintendi hits .320 with a .387 on-base percentage, three home runs, and 39 RBI. He came a day after the Yankees put Giancarlo Stanton on the injured list and in what appears to be a tough year for Joey Gallo, whose strikeout-heavy approach has not been adjusted with his typical barrage of home runs and walks.
While both Gallo and Benintendi are above-average fielders, the former’s .161 average is a little more than half of the latter’s average. Benintendi has a slight power advantage, however. He has hit as many as 20 home runs in a season. His .399 slugging percentage is widely considered his worst mark in a full season.
Before the move was official, Aaron Judge said that having Benintendi would be helpful for the Yankees.
“He’s a really good player,” Judge said. “I’ve had a chance to play against him for quite a few years when he was playing over in Boston. I’ve seen him do a lot of impressive things. So if that’s true, it’ll be definitely a big piece to what we’ve got going on here.”
Benintendi's arrival has created an outfield alignment, with him in the left field, Judge in center field, with a combination of Aaron Hicks and Matt Carpenter in the right field until Stanton returns from the injured list.
“We’re still one of the best teams in the game, so I wouldn’t really judge our season after a couple of weeks,” Judge said. “But I think adding a guy like [Benintendi] will definitely give us a little pump up, that’s for sure. I think he’s going to fit right in,” Judge said.
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