The first major trade of the deadline has happened. Just shy of 11:00 pm on the East Coast Wednesday, the New York Yankees acquired Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi. We would later learn the return headed to the Royals would be T.J. Sikkema (Yankees #19 prospect), Beck Way (Yankees #21 prospect), and Chandler Champlain.
For New York, they acquire a lefty bat on an expiring deal who will help strengthen an already strong lineup. Benintendi is slashing .321/.389/.399 with three home runs and a 127 wRC+.
The 28-year-old should slot into left field everyday moving Aaron Hicks to a bench role. Benintendi has mostly batted second in Kansas City but Aaron Judge has that covered in New York. Regardless of where he slots into the batting order, the Yankees add a bat-to-ball player who should help balance their power lineup.
We will do a deeper dive on the prospect return in a future article, but on the surface the return seems light for a player of Benintendi’s caliber. Most were projecting a higher ranked prospect with secondary pieces but the Royals decided to side with more prospects than the highest-rated prospect.
My first takeaway from the Royals is obvious. Acquire arms. Kansas City has struggled to find major league caliber pitchers and adding arms to their organization is a good move. Now, if they can develop those arms will be the question.
The Yankees added a bat that fits their needs perfectly without giving up any of their top trade assets. Because of this, New York has plenty of capital to go big-game hunting. With needs in the rotation, Luis Castillo or Frankie Montas are still very much in play.