Yankees should try this modified Andrew Benintendi trade package after updates


Have you heard the news? All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi, along with about 40% of the rest of the Kansas City Royals, is not vaccinated, rendering him ineligible to play in Toronto. Of course, that’s a massive blow to the New York Yankees, a team looking to replace Joey Gallo with a different outfield bat who makes more contact.

Benintendi, who’s as of now ineligible to play in the Yankees’ late-September road series in Toronto, followed by any road Canadian playoff matchups, could help many other teams without a roadblock. Sadly, the Yankees are one of the clubs he puts at a distinct disadvantage due to his personal decision-making (which becomes … not so personal when the whole team is involved).

But wait! There’s more! After rumblings that Benintendi’s status had somehow not removed him from AL East-based trade conversations, MLB insider Mark Feinsand reported over the weekend that the Yankees have become “serious contenders” for his services.

How serious is “serious”? Serious enough that he’d consider pulling a Whit Merrifield-like pivot if contention was involved at his next destination? Or do the Yankees just not care all that much about a likely maximum of two postseason games north of the border?

Regardless of what changed here, the price on Benintendi should be a little less steep now, which (ahem) was theorized on this very site in a devil’s advocate piece after the initial news dropped. We … we sure the Yankees wouldn’t hold their nose and take advantage here? Is Sept. 26-28 really all that important, especially considering many believe the Yanks won’t even use their top trade chips on an outfielder after Matt Carpenter’s emergence?

Yankees reportedly ‘serious contenders’ for Andrew Benintendi

Considering that, as of now, Benintendi won’t be available in Toronto, that should diminish his value somewhat, though it won’t plummet his trade packages through the floorboards. He’s still a .317 hitter with a .387 OBP (DJ LeMahieu sits at .388, FYI) who doesn’t hit for much power, but still maintains a .785 OPS (LeMahieu’s is .801). All the chatter lately has been that LeMahieu’s been invaluable post-comeback, but Benintendi would be disappointing. Curious.

Alas, the price appears to be coming down into the Yankees’ range somewhat, especially with so many other folks focusing on Juan Soto (count the Yanks among those, too). Would Benintendi, at this point, fetch anything more than a top-10 prospect and some supplemental pieces?

Maybe … Everson Pereira, TJ Sikkema, and a lottery ticket? It’s a far cry from what Yanks Go Yard pitched a few weeks ago, but we didn’t know then what we know now; namely, how the market has played out around him, and the “personal decisions” he’s made.

Other Yankees personalities, like the venerated Jomboy, have lowered their trade pitches as well. Jomboy was willing to toss personality JoezMcfly into the package as his third name, which we’d be hesitant to do, but hey … business is business.

If Benintendi costs a top-five prospect or takes someone out of a hypothetical Luis Castillo package, the Yankees should move along.

But if Rule 5 names will get it done — or Gomez/Lange — New York shouldn’t hesitate.