The Royals were involved in a three-way trade Wednesday night that brings Boston Red Sox LF Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City. The Royals send outfield prospect Khalil Lee to the New York Mets. The Boston Red Sox get OF Franchy Cordero and two players-to-be-named-later from the Royals.
Dayton Moore has talked this winter about getting a left-handed bat and said it would likely be in the outfield. Benintendi is exactly that. Benintendi has a .353 OBP in his four seasons in the major leagues.
We have talked about how the Royals need to be willing to make a deal like the Cardinals recently made for 3B Nolan Arenado. While this deal wouldn’t be near that level, it is a step forward that the club is willing to trade young players, which they would control for six years for a player that is two seasons away from free agency and at a higher cost. Benintendi will make $6.6 million in 2021. Boston is sending the Royals $2.8 million to cover part of that salary. In 2022, he enters his last year of arbitration before becoming a free agent in 2023.
Khalil Lee could end up being a better player than Benintendi, but what are the odds? What have the Royals developed in the outfield since Dayton Moore was the general manager? Alex Gordon was supposed to be a third baseman. He was moved to the outfield when third base didn’t work out.
Lorenzo Cain is probably the best outfielder under Dayton Moore, and he was part of the Zack Greinke trade to the Milwaukee Brewers. He wasn’t drafted and developed by the Royals.
The trade for Benintendi is a good move for the Royals.