Andrew Benintendi’s Yankees number will make fans wistful for 2009


The New York Yankees clearly needed a jolt after Wednesday’s all-too-familiar loss to the Mets at Citi Field. Appropriately, Brian Cashman provided it mere seconds after the game ended, when beloved YES Network insider Jack Curry tweeted four words that should ignite a deadline train: “Yankees are acquiring Benintendi”.

Curry went on to pivot the YES postgame show significantly in the Andrew Benintendi deal’s aftermath, rattling plenty of fans’ cages by making it clear he believes the team is just getting started, and that the “postseason No. 2 starter” isn’t currently on the roster. In other words, the World Series or Bust mentality has returned for a 66-33 team that’s well ahead of the pack, but has been treading water for weeks.

In addition to Benintendi, the Yankees will target a top-tier starter and relief help. For now, though, they’ve acquired elite contact hitting, situational awareness, and improved vibes. Locking in Benny feels very reminiscent of the last time the Yanks really plowed onward into the second half and October back in 2009, when many of a special team’s special moments were authored by a former Red Sox outfielder wearing No. 18 in pinstripes.

Huh. Wonder which number 2018 Red Sox World Series champion Andrew Benintendi was assigned late Wednesday night.

Benny’s debut will likely come Thursday, as his Royals were traveling to the Bronx for a four-game series anyway. And when he trots out of the dugout, he’ll look positively Johnny Damon-esque.

Andrew Benintendi’s Number with Yankees is Johnny Damon tribute

While fans have seen No. 18 more recently on the backs of both Didi Gregorius and Rougned Odor, the Damon force is much stronger with Benintendi, a former shaggy Sox outfielder who spent a ton of time mashing the Yankees into the grass in the Bronx before being dealt to KC and ultimately switching sides.

Taking the Yankees seriously as World Series contenders will be just a little bit easier with a No. 18 roaming around the outfield and stealing two bases for the price of one. However, there’s still significant work to do.

The Benintendi trade was reportedly almost finished on Monday, but the prospect package took a bit longer to materialize. Ultimately, the Yankees surrendered three top-30 prospects, per Baseball America, none of them ranked higher than 13th.

Now, the Yankees will pivot towards reinforcing their other glaring weaknesses atop the rotation and at the back end of the bullpen.

If and when they introduce new names there, the World Series vibes will likely begin to flow in earnest once more.

For now, though, seeing Damon’s number back in action on another Bostonian (sans-flow) will have to do.