Red Sox Rumors: Boston Shopping Andrew Benintendi? Who Will Replace Him in Left Field?

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The Boston Red Sox are in talks to potentially trade left fielder Andrew Benintendi for prospects.  This is according to The Athletic's Jim Bowden, who tweeted the news Saturday afternoon.  


Photo courtesy of nbcsportsboston.com

The team has been in serious talks with clubs, but nothing is imminent according to Bowden.

Benintendi, 26, is coming off an injury riddled 2020 season where he only played 14 games.  He hit .103 with one RBI and a slash line of .314/.128/.442.  The left fielder's disappointing 14 game season came to an end when he was placed on the injured list with a strained rib cage. 


Expectations were high for Benintendi heading into 2020 after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Dodgers.  Then Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke announced that Benintendi would be the club’s leadoff hitter.  He would struggle mightily in the top spot where he went 2 for 29, .069 average and 12 strikeouts. 


The former top prospect never looked right in 2020 coming off a down 2019 season.  In 2019, his batting average slipped to .266 with 13 home runs.  Boston was hoping to see him take the next step offensively after an impressive 2018 season.  He hit .290/.366/.465 with 16 home runs and 21 stolen bases in 148 games. 

While a deal is not imminent for Benintendi, it is interesting that he could hold any trade value coming off such a poor season riddled with injuries. 

Per Bowden’s tweet, the team is looking for prospects in return for Benintendi.  If Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom does in fact only acquire prospects back the club would still need to address the outfield.  The Red Sox recently signed outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who could be inserted as the new everyday left fielder. 


The Red Sox have the money to make a creative deal involving Benintendi.  There have been reports all winter long that Boston could take on money in any deal if it meant getting top, young controllable prospects in return.

                  
The example in the tweet from RedSoxStats could be something Boston does in their potential trade of Benintendi.  The Atlanta Braves, for example, have a rich farm system with young pitching Bloom could be coveting.  Five of the Braves top-ten prospects, according to Baseball America, are pitchers.  Two of those pitchers, Ian Anderson and Bryse Wilson, were on display during the NLCS this season where both looked really good.  This is something the Red Sox could potentially do in any deal with an interested team. 

If Benintendi is traded and Boston strictly gets prospects in return the club could re-sign Jackie Bradley Jr., who is still a free agent.  Reports have indicated that both sides have remained in contact throughout the offseason. 


Another name to keep an eye on is Yasiel Puig.  His name has come up a few times this winter as a potential option to come to Boston.  Puig’s energy and power bat would be welcomed in Boston, but there could be backlash from the fan base due to his off-the-field problems he’s encountered. 


One other name that could be an option to play left field is Michael Brantley.  The former Indian and Astros outfielder is still a free-agent and it's been relatively quiet regarding where he would play in 2021.  Brantley would be a professional presence in the clubhouse this season and a reliable bat that could hit anywhere towards the top of the lineup for manager Alex Cora.


The reports will be circulating on what Bloom and the Red Sox will do as the winter continues to progress.  If Benintendi is traded and Boston receives good value back, it will be a win for Bloom as he retools the team’s farm system.  Whatever happens with Benintendi, his diving catch in the ALCS against the Astros in 2018 will forever be etched in Red Sox playoff lore.

 

Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Red Sox Rumors: Boston Shopping Andrew Benintendi? Who Will Replace Him in Left Field?
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