With the Red Sox having a very down year in an abbreviated 60 game season, Jackie Bradley Jr. headed to free agency, and losing Mookie Betts prior to the start of 2020, it looks like the Red Sox are trying to save their team. With younger talent at the big-league level at this time, Alex Verdugo, Tristan Casas, and Rafael Devers, as well as All-Star caliber talent in Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Xander Bogaerts, the Bo-Sox are left in an interesting predicament. It seems that the roster is competitive enough to make the playoffs, but they will need to add not subtract from what they already have. But several teams have called already about Andrew Benintendi, all from the American League, the Rangers, Astros, Athletics, and the Pittsburg Pirates (yeah I’m confused on why). Benintendi doesn’t have much trade value as of now, the only positive is him being only 26 and having two more years of club control left. Teams seem to be betting that he can be a 20HR/20SB guy that he showed back in 2017, but hitting only .103 last season is worrisome. Yes, he had a rib injury, and we don’t really know how much that affected his swing, but personally I do not know why now is the best time to trade him. But below are some packages for each team that could happen for Benintendi.
The Rangers are an interesting team, not making the playoffs last season, trading away Lance Lynn to the White Sox this off-season, as well as looking more and more likely that Corey Kluber will be on the move as well. The addition of White Sox Dane Dunning seems to be the right move, and he could be their ace to start the season. But where does Benintendi fit in here, with the outfield in left having Willie Calhoun and David Dahl already there, it seems that he could be playing in a platoon role, where the team already has five active outfielders on their roster. Here’s the deal that could happen;
Red Sox Trade: Andrew Benintendi
Rangers Trade: Elvis Andrus, Ronny Henriquez
I get it, why Elvis Andrus, after a couple of down seasons he hasn’t really been himself. The Rangers have a log jam at second base and I feel like Andrus is the odd man out in this situation. The Red Sox have had a carousel at second base after Dustin Pedroia’s next to career ending knee injury back in 2017. Andrus can provide stability there and Ronny Henriquez has shown really good arm strength in the minors, and the Sox need to replenish the farm a little bit. I feel like the trade is good for both, and the Rangers would bank on Benintendi showing more of his 2017 self, versus 2020, and the same case would be for Elvis Andrus coming to Boston after a very down 2020 season.
It looks more and more likely that George Springer will be lost in free-agency, and the Astros will need to find another starting center fielder. The Astros have a lot of young bullpen arms, something that the Red Sox need, after having a bottom third bullpen last season. I think that the Astros would be open to moving a couple of pieces for Benintendi to secure more outfield depth, below is what I think could work.
Red Sox Trade: Andrew Benintendi, Christian Vasquez
Astros Trade: Blake Taylor, Hunter Brown, Nathan Perry, and Jojanse Torres
Yep, Christian Vasquez is part of the deal. At this point, Christian Vasquez value is the highest it’s ever been, he’s always been a great defensive catcher, and his bat has finally come around after belting 23 homeruns in 2019, and 7 in 47 games in 2020. I think that Blake Taylor has the ability to be a great bullpen arm, Nathan Perry reminds me of a younger Vasquez with a quicker ability to learn to hit at the big-league level. Hunter Brown would be another nice addition for the farm system as well as Jojanse Torres, who has an electric fastball. Is it a reach, probably, but the Sox need value, and if Chaim Bloom is taking this “small market mindset”, this could work?
The Athletics too have a lot of outfield depth already, and I believe the A’s can be a playoff team with a healthy rotation, and hopefully A.J Puk can be part of the pitcher the A’s thought he could be. However, if they lose Marcus Semien to free-agency, the do lack a lot of depth at the middle infield positions. I believe that if the Athletics are the team to trade with, Michael Chavis will be included in the deal.
Red Sox Trade: Andrew Benintendi, Michael Chavis
A’s Trade: James Kapriellian, J.B. Wendelken, Luis Barreara, and Tyler Baum
With J.B. Wendelken being the centerpiece of this trade, a really good bullpen arm, he can bring stability to a lackluster bullpen last season. James Kapriellian, former first round pick has a lot to prove, I still believe in him, there is more in the tank and I’m not willing to write him off just yet. And Tyler Baum being a solid prospect to get back and bring a little more outfield depth to a dry farm system.
Why are they in the mix… no idea. They have a couple of good starters when on in Jameson Taillon and Joe Musgrove, a lot of outfield depth, but it seems that Cole Tucker may not be the next coming of who they hoped to replace, Andrew McCutchen. They are still a couple of years away, and it may be time to try to blow it up again, they were brutal to watch last season. So where does Benintendi fit into the mix?
Red Sox Trade: Andrew Benintendi
Pirates Trade: Cody Ponce and Braxton Ashcraft
Sure Benintendi going to the Pirates, to me, doesn’t make any sense for a team that should rebuild. But for arguments sake, two years of control left, and I believe could be used to help develop Cole Tucker. Cody Ponce, a 6th starter on the team, but had a decent 2020 season, and Braxton Ashcraft has shown to have really good stuff in the minors, a 6 foot 5 frame, and only weighing in now at 195lbs. I think as he fills out he can be a really good major league starting pitcher.
Well, Red Sox fans, and as one myself, this is tough to hear. I don’t really know where to go with this team. I want to see them compete, I think there’s too much talent to fold on. You do need pieces in the farm system to pan out. I don’t know what the signing of Hunter Renfroe had to do with the success to this season, or what the plan for him is at all. I can be certain of two things however, actually three, we need a second baseman, we need bullpen arms in a market loaded with them, and we need a starting pitcher. Chaim Bloom, the ball is in your court, but for all Red Sox fans, the clock is ticking for us and moves need to be made before other bullpen and starting pitcher arms come off the market.