The Yankees and the Royals have made the biggest move to the deadline yet. New York announces a deal to acquire outfielders Andrew Benintendi from Kansas City in exchange for pitching prospects bake way, TJ Sikkim And Chandler Champlain,
Benintendi has been one of the game’s most obvious business candidates for the past few months. The Royals entered 2022 with the design on competition, but by the end of May they had reached a record of 16–32. This made Kansas City an obvious deadline seller, and an impending free agent like Benintendi is likely to change the uniform.
New York adds a contact-oriented bat to its outfield mix. Benintendi has a .321/.389/.399 line a year, running with a 10.1% clip, while punching only 13.5% of his trips to the plate. He’s tied for only three home runs, but Benintendi leads the majors with 91 singles and has won 14 doubles. He didn’t look like a 15-20 homer bat during his initial season with the Red Sox, but he made strong contact on 82.6% of his swings.
Benintendi’s output has been boosted by a career-high .368 batting average on balls in the game. As a line drive hitter who uses the entire field, he generally produces solid results on batted balls, although it is unlikely that the Yankees are expecting their 2022 mark to stay that high. Even as his BABIP approaches his career figure of .325, his plate discipline and control of the bat should support a solid base percentage.
Those plus bat-to-ball skills contrast with Benintendi with the player he can displace from the lineup, Joy Gallo, Gallo has struggled a lot since landing in the Bronx, New York’s biggest deadline pickup, last summer. He’s a .160/.293/.371 hitter in 498 plate appearances as a Yankee, hitting a whopping 38.4% clip on that stretch. Among hitters with more than 200 plate appearances this season, Gallo has the third-highest strikeout rate (38.1%) and the third-lowest rate of contact on swings (62.2%).
Yankees now ready to roll out Benintendi, MVP candidate’s outfield Aaron Judge And Aaron Hicks – On most days – owning a huge .333/.471/.593 line this month after a slow start to the season. Giancarlo Stanton The primary is the designated hitter, though he came on the injured list yesterday. Working in the scorching heat, New York has started reducing Gallo’s playing time Matt Carpenter Corner outfield is in the mix, and tonight’s acquisition is the strongest sign, yet the Yankees are ready to take Gallo out completely. This is because they will try to find a taker for him in the trade before the next Tuesday deadline.
The judge has made a move this year enough to move from right to center field, leaving Hicks and Benintendi to play corners. The latter has played notably left field since landing at Kansas City’s sprawling home ballpark, a good rating in the eyes of both the Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone ratings. Statcast’s outs average rate him as a scratch defender in each of the past two years. He should add enough above-average gloves to the outfield, offering a marked improvement over Gallo’s recent work at the plate. This would be a boost to the lineup that had already led the majors by scoring 523 runs.
That the Yankees pulled the trigger on the Benintendi deal for an off-field reason is sure to raise some eyebrows. He was placed on the banned list ahead of the Royals’ recent series in Toronto, indicating that he was not vaccinated against COVID-19 at the time. It is unavailable for the series in Toronto due to a change in his vaccination status or the lifting of an ongoing ban of uneducated athletes crossing the border. Reports emerged soon after that concerns about his availability could have prevented the Yankees from pursuing him.
This clearly proved not to be the case in the end. The New York Post’s John Heyman and SNY’s Andy Martino each suggest (Twitter Link) that some close to Benintendi believe he is now ready to be vaccinated. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Jason Starc indicated that talks between the Yankees and the Royals front office did not reveal the status of vaccination (twitter linkWhether this is because the Yankees anticipate he will eventually be eligible to play in Toronto or whether they have decided to accept his possible absence for certain games is unclear.
The Yankees, who started their four-match series against the Royals yesterday, have only three regular season games left in Toronto. With an 11 1/2 game cushion over the Jays in the AL East, the absence of three games – if it comes to it – is unlikely to have much of an impact on the regular season standings, although it could be a relevant event for the Yankees and Jays playoffs. See you in
Benintendi is playing this season on a salary of $8.5MM, of which approximately $3.3MM will be paid during the rest of the season. The teams made no mention of cash rewards, so it looks like the Yankees will take the remainder of that tab. New York’s luxury tax payroll now sits at just under $265MM, estimates Jason Martinez roster resource, They are paying a 20% tax on their first $20MM at the $230MM base threshold, with a 32% fee on every dollar spent between $250MM and $270MM. If they exceed $270MM through future trades, they will have to pay a 62.5% tax on any money up to $290MM (with higher fees thereafter). This is a franchise-record level of spending for the Yankees, who are likely to explore both rotations and bullpen upgrades over the next few days.
Turning to the return of the Royals, they will bring down a trio of weapons from the lower minors. Way, Sikkema and Champlain were each ranked among the Yankees’ top 30 prospects baseball america, they top the group at #13 in the system. ESPN’s Kelly McDaniel Believes She Is the Headliner of the Return Tweet That he looks like a potential mid-rotation starter.
A fourth-round pick in 2020, Way has spent this season at High-A Hudson Valley. He has worked in 72 1/3 innings of a 3.73 ERA ball, which is 27.6% above the average of the opposing hitters. The 22-year-old Wright (23 next month) has posted strong ground-ball numbers during his early pro career, and is facing the bottom 9% of his career batsmen. Way’s control has been ambiguous at first, but BA credits him with a fastball and a promising wide slider in the mid-90s.
Sikkim was the 38th pick overall in the 2019 draft. The canceled minor league season in 2020 ended his first full professional season, and he missed the injured list last year. That confluence of factors means he’s made just 15 appearances as a professional, but he’s been through 36 1/3 innings at Hi-A this year with a whopping 38% strike percentage and a strong 6.3% walk rate. With 2.48 owns ERA. BA admires his strike-throwing ability and suggests that his lower arm slot adds some deceit to his delivery. He will need to be added to the Royals 40-man roster at the end of the season or be conveyed to the draft Rule 5.
Champlain was a ninth-round draft from USC last season. The 23-year-old has spent an entire year with Low-A Tampa, posting a 4.30 ERA with a 30.5% strike rate against a 6.2% walk percentage in 16 outings against typically youth competition. Baseball America credits him with fastballs and a promising slider in the mid-90s.
The Benintendi deal will be the first of a lot of dominoes to drop over the next few days. Rosenthal and Stark report that the Blue Jays, Brewers and Dodgers were among the teams that had some interest in Benintendi, and this is because the remainder of that group may be looking for other ways to add to their outfield. ben gemelli, David Peralta And Tyler Nuquin Other lefty-hitting rentals are among the outfielders who should be available, though none are likely to be as much interested as Benintendi.
Yes Network’s Jack Curry It was the first to report that the Yankees were acquiring Benintendi. ESPN’s Jeff Passan It was first reported that the Royals were getting three minor leaguers, who Joel Sherman of the New York Post They were initially designated Sikkima and Champlain.
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