The Kansas City Royals moved their most valuable trade asset this week, sending outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the New York Yankees in exchange for three pitching prospects.
Benintendi has been the best and most consistent hitter for the Royals this season. In 93 games for Kansas City, he hit .320 with a .387 on-base percentage, both of which are team highs.
Acquired in a trade ahead of the 2021 season, Benintendi batted .294 and posted a .351 on-base percentage in 227 games with the Royals, tallying 20 home runs and 112 RBIs in that timeframe. This season he was voted into the All-Star Game for the first time, and last year he won his first Gold Glove.
In exchange for Benintendi, the Royals are acquiring three minor league pitchers, all of whom were playing in A-ball in the Yankees organization.
Right-hander Beck Way is the highest-rated prospect coming back to Kansas City. Currently in high-A, Way is now the No. 12 prospect in the Royals’ farm system according to MLB Pipeline, and he was No. 19 for the Yankees. Another high-A prospect, 24-year-old lefty T.J. Sikkema was also involved in the deal. He’s the Royals new No. 21 prospect, the same spot he was in New York’s farm system.
The third piece the Royals traded for is right-hander Chandler Champlain, who’s currently in low-A and is the ranked 30th in the Royals orgnaization following the deal.
There had been speculation about Benintendi’s market, specifically when it came to AL East suitors, in the wake of him being placed on MLB’s restricted list prior to a pre-All-Star Break trip to Toronto for the Royals. Benintedi was not vaccinated against Covid-19, hence not being allowed to travel to Canada, but according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post the outfielder has told people he will get the vaccine following the trade.
It won’t be long before Royals fans get to see Benintendi play again; Kansas City is taking on New York at Yankee Stadium this weekend, with the series opener coming up on Thursday night.