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Andrew Benintendi reportedly traded to the Royals

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It’s been rumored all winter, and it’s coming to fruition right before camp.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Throughout this offseason probably the biggest storyline for the Red Sox was what they were going to do with Andrew Benintendi. The former top ten overall pick is coming of a disastrous injury-shortened 2020, and was disappointing (albeit to a much lesser extent) in 2019 as well. His name popped up in trade rumors in December and a trade looked to be imminent at that point, but it never came and the rumors died out. Well, it’s happened. According to reports, Benintendi has been traded to the Royals, pending physicals.

Jon Morosi had mentioned that things were getting close.

As of right now, the return is unclear. We will, of course, update this post when we know the players coming back. Alex Speier reports multiple players are coming back, and the Red Sox will be sending some money as well.

Apparently the Mets are also involved.

This is too complicated right now to even try and speculate on specific names, though Brad Keller, Josh Staumont and Scott Barlow came to mind from the Royals side of things. But look for the Red Sox to potentially add some pitching and/or some outfield help, along with maybe a prospect.

As for Benintendi, well, there’s not much left to be said that we haven’t already said this winter. He was a big part of the 2018 run to the postseason, including maybe the best defensive play in franchise history when considering the context in that ALCS Game Four. From an emotional fan standpoint, it’s sad to see him go. From a more objective team-building standpoint, given his recent struggles this could make sense depending on the return, but we’ll withhold judgement until we learn who exactly is coming back.

Update (9:16 PM ET)

Franchy Cordero is part of the package coming back to Boston.

We’ll have a separate post with more detail on the players coming back when the full deal is crystallized, but Cordero would likely replace Benintendi in left field. A left-handed bat, he strikes out a ton but has big power as well.

Update (9:28 PM ET)

The Red Sox are also getting pitching prospect Josh Winckowski back from the Mets.

A right-handed pitching prospect, he had just been traded to the Mets from the Blue Jays recently in the deal that sent Steven Matz to the Mets.

Update (10:53 PM ET)

The trade is official now. Red Sox get Cordero, Winckowski and three players to be named later.

We’ll have more shortly on the players coming back.

Update (10:57 PM ET)

The Red Sox are sending $2.8 million to the Royals in the deal.