Yankees To Acquire Andrew Benintendi

9:52pm: In return, Kansas City is acquiring pitching prospects T.J. SikkemaChandler Champlain and Beck Way, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link).

9:45pm: The Royals will acquire three minor league players in return, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN (on Twitter).

9:38pm: The Yankees are set to acquire outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Royals, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link). New York has sought an outfield upgrade in recent weeks, and they’ll fill the gap by landing one of the top rental bats on the market.

Benintendi has been one of the game’s most obvious trade candidates for the past few months. The Royals entered 2022 with designs on competing, but they stumbled to a 16-32 through the end of May. That made Kansas City an obvious likely deadline seller, and an impending free agent like Benintendi a strong candidate to change uniforms.

New York adds a contact-oriented bat to their outfield mix. Benintendi owns a .321/.389/.399 on the year, walking at a strong 10.1% clip while only punching out in 13.5% of his trips to the plate. He’s only connected on three home runs, but Benintendi leads the majors with 91 singles and has picked up 14 doubles. He hasn’t looked like the 15-20 homer bat he was during his early seasons with the Red Sox, but he’s made contact on a strong 82.6% of his swings.

Those plus bat-to-ball skills contrast Benintendi sharply with the player whom he’s likely to displace from the lineup, Joey Gallo. New York’s biggest deadline pickup last summer, Gallo has struggled mightily since landing in the Bronx. He’s a .160/.293/.371 hitter in 498 plate appearances as a Yankee, striking out at a massive 38.4% clip over that stretch. Among hitters with 200+ plate appearances this season, Gallo has the third-highest strikeout rate (38.1%) and third-lowest rate of contact on swings (62.2%).

More to come.

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