Red Sox Rumors: Andrew Benintendi may be on his way out of Boston

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 11: Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox runs onto the field before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 11, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 11: Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox runs onto the field before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 11, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox are listening to offers for Andrew Benintendi

A lot of players suffered miserable fates thanks to the 2020 season and Boston Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi was one of them. The on-again/off-again status of the season once COVID took over sent a lot of the league into a spiral. Guys that we’re used to seeing dominate were a bit quieter and some who tend to have cold spells stayed white-hot all year.

This has all led to a very quiet offseason as owners and front offices are being more cautious than ever with how they’re judging free-agent talent as well as those that may be on the trade block. For Benintendi, it felt like an obvious call that he’d make his way back to the Red Sox and look to rebound from his disappointing season. However, per The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, Boston is listening to offers for the outfielder and is said to be in talks with several teams about a trade.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean a deal is coming right away and Bowden even states as much in his tweet. I do find it interesting that the Red Sox would be looking to offload Benny, even with his poor performance in 2020, considering the state of the team’s outfield.

Ahead of this past season, the team shipped off superstar Mookie Betts to Hollywood, and this winter Gold-Glove centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. became a free-agent. So it’s a bit perplexing to me why Chaim Bloom would be trying to move the final piece of their championship-winning outfield.

I’ve alluded to it a few times already and I think it’s time we look at how awful Benintendi’s 2020 truly was. He only played in 14 of Boston’s possible 60, as they were nowhere close to the postseason, and tallied a .103/.314/.128/.442 line with just four hits and 17 strikeouts. That’s next-level bad, like, change your name and move to another country bad. He would eventually suffer a rib injury that just didn’t want to get better, causing the Red Sox to shut him down.

Honestly, the injury may have been a blessing in disguise. There wasn’t any way that he was going to turn the year around and was only doing more damage to his psyche with each poor outing. Being able to rest, heal, and do what he needed to in order to get this mind right could be exactly what he needs to rebound in 2020, and he has the full potential to do just that. But if he is dealt away to another squad, what will Boston do with their outfield?

Per Bowden, the team is looking to get prospects in return for Benintendi which means they aren’t looking to fill his position with the trade. The recent signing of Hunter Renfroe at least guarantees that Alex Cora can put a warm body in left field, but there’s still a massive gap.

If Benny is dealt then that may push the Red Sox to re-sign Bradley Jr., as the two sides have been in contact. Alex Verdugo will be back and we know he’s a hell of a player, but having just two legit outfielders on the roster isn’t a good start to 2021.

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We saw Michael Chavis dabble in the outfield this past season with nothing too spectacular coming from those efforts. The big-name that I think Red Sox Nation would be clamoring to see is the promotion of Jarren Duran. I bet you thought I was going to say, George Springer, didn’t you?  I’m not sure Chaim wants to drop the kind of cash it’d take to get the former Astro, especially with the uncertainty of fans in attendance in 2021. Boston’s top-prospect has been long considered the heir-apparent to JBJ and it may be his time to live up to the billing.

I’m talking a lot about what they’d do if they moved Benny, but what kind of return would the team get?. Bloom has done really well with the few trades he’s made up to this point, getting a mix of Major League ready talent with high-level prospects. The thing is, for those trades he was moving players of value to teams that needed their services, right now Benintendi doesn’t have much shine to his name. I can’t see the Sox getting is pretty of a return as they’ve become accustomed to for their trade pieces.

Next. Now we know why Devers struggled in 2020. dark

At the end of the day, these are just reports and may turn into nothing when the sun sets and we move to tomorrow. Hell, JBJ was traded a dozen times during his tenure, and yet, there he was, every single day. Andrew Benintendi is a hell of a defensive player that can reach high potential at the plate. The catches he made during the 2018 postseason were series altering and if he had missed, could’ve kept Boston from their ninth championship. Whether he stays with the Sox or finds a new home, I’m hoping 2021 is a lot better to him than 2020 was.