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.
Benintendi dealt to Royals, pending approvals, medicals— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 11, 2021
Jon Morosi had mentioned that things were getting close.
Source: Andrew Benintendi is close to being traded. #Royals are frontrunner to acquire him. @MLBNetwork @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 11, 2021
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.
Major league source confirms that the Red Sox are dealing Andrew Benintendi to the Royals. Return is expected to be multiple players. KC likely to receive some financial relief. First on it: @jonmorosi and @JonHeyman— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) February 11, 2021
Apparently the Mets are also involved.
Sources: Mets, Red Sox and Royals in serious talks about a three-team trade. Andrew Benintendi to KC.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) February 11, 2021
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.
Outfield prospect Khalil Lee is expected to go to the New York Mets in the three-way deal with Boston and KC that would send Andrew Benintendi to the Royals. Outfielder Franchy Cordero would go to the Red Sox once the deal is finalized, sources tell ESPN. Others are involved.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 11, 2021
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.
RHP Josh Winchowski goes to Red Sox in Benintendi deal— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 11, 2021
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.
The #RedSox today traded OF Andrew Benintendi and cash considerations to the KC Royals, in exchange for OF Franchy Cordero & 2 players to be named later.— Red Sox (@RedSox) February 11, 2021
Additionally, the Red Sox received minor league RHP Josh Winckowski & a player to be named later from the New York Mets.
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.
Red Sox will send $2.8 million to the Royals to help cover part of Benintendi’s $6.6 million salary. https://t.co/krHzBwpWP7— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) February 11, 2021