Andrew Benintendi may just be the most valuable Red Sox trade chip. Here is a look at some of the reasoning on just why.
Relax if you have gotten this far since I am not advocating the trading of Andrew Benintendi although I would. I would trade anyone if the return assets – I love that new baseball term for a player – was exceptional. At one time it was even discussed trading Ted Williams.
Benintendi is certainly a notable talent who has forever become the force of evil in Houston and endeared to Boston over a gutsy catch in the ALCS. In the past I have written about Benintendi being Rookie of the Year – he lost to Aaron Judge – or becoming a batting champion and I expect he’ll make a run at that.
In 2018 Benintendi cracked the 100 runs scored mark (103) and drove in 87. Despite adding some muscle Benintendi saw his home run total drop from 20 to 16. Benintendi is not a sprinter on the bases but has above-average speed an intuitive knack for swiping a base with 42 career steals in 50 attempts. My only real concern is a .234 career average against lefty pitching.
Examining the fielding metric Benintendi is not Gold Glove caliber, but is improving and in the future, I can see such an award being on his trophy shelf. Benintendi is on the plus side on Defensive Runs Saved (4) and his 5.8 UZR/150 is fourth best among qualified left fielders in the American League.
The first factor is already explained in his talent level – a level that will rise as the 24-year-old adds on even more experience. And within the age is the key ingredient and it is service time. Benintendi has a long way to go before he becomes a free agent and that has value to any price conscious team.
The second factor is his teammates. The list is a long one with Xander Bogaerts, Rick Porcello, Mookie Betts, Chris Sale, and Jackie Bradley Jr. all on the cusp of free agency. Betts would certainly get you just about anything, but in two years he could be gone. Out of the core players, it is Benintendi and Rafael Devers with Benintendi having a very decided edge.
This article is just an outcropping of an exchange I had with another fan who is not a Red Sox fan. We looked at it from a business perspective and not a talent perspective. From a business angle, Benintendi would make the most sense from his view and I could see why.
Benintendi is of great value to the Red Sox with his run generating ability and his performance wherever he is placed in the lineup. Trading Benintendi is a very remote possibility since he will be a lynchpin for the Red Sox well into the next decade.