After weeks of speculation, Andrew Benintendi is headed to the Bronx.
The Yankees acquired Benintendi, a left fielder, from Kansas City on Wednesday night, the team announced after a 3-2 loss to the Queens Mets. A deal that was first released Jack Carr from the YES NetworkGives the Yankees a high-contact batter as reinforcements in the outfield in exchange for three pitching prospects: righties Chandler Champlain and Beck Way and lefty TJ Sikema.
Benintendi, 28, has been an All-Star for the Royals this season. He’s hitting .320 with a .387 on-base percentage, three home runs and 39 RBI. Joey Gallo, whose hard hitting approach was not balanced by home runs and walks.
The move marks a return to the American League East for Benintendi, who was a first-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox out of the University of Arkansas in 2015 and spent his first five major league seasons with the club. He was sent to the Royals in a February 2021 trade.
The Royals will have to face their former underdog right away as Kansas City begins a four-game series at Yankee Stadium on Thursday. New York’s next series against the Red Sox is Aug. 12-14 at Fenway Park, giving Bentend a look at the other side of one of baseball’s most intense rivalries.
Potentially complicating matters for the Yankees on the road is the fact that Benintendi was one of 10 Royals to be placed on the restricted list ahead of the series in Toronto earlier this month because they had not been vaccinated against Covid-19. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Jason Stark reported that Benintendi’s vaccination status was not discussed between the Royals and Yankees.
The Yankees, whose entire active roster was cleared for the Canadian trip earlier this season, have one series remaining in Toronto in late September and could also play the Blue Jays, who are in second place in the AL East, in the postseason. Benintendi, if he agrees to take the vaccine, has plenty of time to do so before it becomes an issue.