Trading Andrew Benintendi would be worthwhile for the Red Sox
Over the past week or so, there have been rumors swirling that the Boston Red Sox could ship off one of their former first-round picks in outfielder Andrew Benintendi. With the 26-year-old coming off a dismal season this past year, most think there isn’t much to gain from dealing him. If we were talking about 2018 Benintendi, there could be some real traction. But I still think there could be some real upsides to a deal.
We all know that the Red Sox aren’t looking like a contender this year, no matter who they sign, it’s deeper than just a couple pieces missing. To go along with that, we also know the farm system isn’t very deep or even one of the top in the league. If we are looking at it from the viewpoint of trading Benintendi though, the young outfield prospects behind him have promising potential.
According to Soxprospects.com, four of the top 20 prospects in the Red Sox farm system are outfielders. Including two guys who could possibly make their debut this coming season, 24-year-old Jarren Duran and 20-year-old Gilberto Jimenez. The two are far apart level-wise, Jimenez hasn’t played above High-A ball while Duran should start this season in Triple-A Worcester. Let’s take a look at what both can bring to the table.
The Red Sox Prospects
Duran has the speed to cover center field, along with the defensive consistency. As for his speed, FanGraphs.com rated it a 70/70, as well as his fielding a 35/40. Through two seasons in the minors patrolling center field, Duran has compiled a .988 fielding percentage. Not to mention, this winter in the Puerto Rican Winter League through 15 games he has not made a single error. Leading to a 1.000 fielding percentage.
His bat is nothing to scoff at either, despite a somewhat slow start in Puerto Rico where he posted a .236 AVG/.386 OBP. Between Double-A Portland and High-A Salem in 2019, Duran hit .303 with a .367 OBP and a .408 SLG.
But they don’t exactly need him to exceed expectations at the plate, as the Red Sox lineup is one of, if not the strongest part of the team. The thing that people should key in on most is according to bloggingtheredsox.com, Chaim Bloom was impressed with what he did at the Alternate Site this past season.
As for Jimenez, while not a lot of people know his name, Jon Tomase of NBC Sports called him “one of the most exciting players in the system.” He has only been stateside for a little while, after being signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2017 at the young age of 17. The switch-hitting speedster, hit .359 for short-season Lowell in ’19. He is still slated to start this season in High-A ball, but there’s no question he could quickly move up through the ranks.
Possible Red Sox trade scenario
After laying out his possible replacements, it’s only right to see who could be in the market for Benintendi, and be a realistic trade partner. One that came to mind is the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates traded the face of their franchise in 1B/OF Josh Bell to the Nationals earlier this offseason. Along with the fact that they don’t have much going for them in the outfield right now, Benintendi could be an intriguing option for them. You might be asking yourself “what do the Pirates have to give the Sox?” Well, not much exactly but there are a couple somewhat worthy options.
Right-handed bullpen arm Richard Rodriguez is coming off an almost career year, with a 3-2 record in 24 appearances with a 2.70 ERA and a very good .857 WHIP. A straight up trade probably wouldn’t be what either team would want, one or both teams could throw in cash considerations or a PTBNL to spice things up.
Duran and Jimenez have potential to both be middle or even top of the lineup everyday guys. Chaim Bloom will take calls on Benintendi if he thinks it was worth it.