The KC Royals continued their streak of uncharacteristic moves with a trade late Wednesday night.
By now, it’s likely many fans have heard that the KC Royals were part of a three-team trade that brought Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City. While this move could be seen as curious, especially with the Royals sending off a couple of outfielders and some players to be named later, the move seems to be a good one.
The Royals sent off Khalil Lee to the Mets and Franchy Cordero to Boston along with two more players not yet named.
The Royals needed to cut down on outfielders and while they got one back, they got rid of two others that would have been competing for a spot in Kansas City. Now, the outfield seems fairly set with Whit Merrifield in right, Benintendi in left, and Michael A. Taylor in center, though Nick Heath and Edward Olivares could see time there as well depending on each player’s performance.
The reaction to the trade may have been mixed, but many seem to think the Royals did a good job.
The Royals Farm Report found some positives.
Jordon Foote sees this as a bit of a power move on the Royals part.
Alex Lewis and David Lesky even draw attention to the fact that Benintendi may find some more success in a stadium he prefers to play in.
But all in all, this trade backs what the Royals have been saying for months, they want to win now, they want a left-handed bat, and they need to focus on on-base percentage.
If grading the Royals on doing what they said they were going to do, there is nothing to complain about with this signing. Of course, it may be difficult to fully grasp this trade until the players to be named later are revealed, but so far, things look to be in favor of each team with a well-balanced trade that could help everyone.
Benintendi has some room to improve but is a perfect bounce-back candidate for Kansas City.
Benintendi has seen a bit of a decline since his first major league season in 2016, but he has continued to hold a decent on-base percentage and has shown some power along with some decent base running. He has two seasons with 40 or more doubles, and two seasons with 20 or more stolen bases.
He has also seen his issues on defense but was a Gold Glove candidate in both 2018 and 2019. Dayton Moore doesn’t seem too concerned, though, and feels the Benintendi will be a huge addition in Kansas City.
Benintendi comes to the Royals at 26 years old, with two more years of club control. Could this deal backfire in a few years depending on how Lee and Cordero fair? Of course. But for the Royals, this deal was exactly what they needed.
They have been one of the doormats of baseball for a few seasons now. Their decline after the World Series came so quickly that many forgot about the Royals and moved on to others while Kansas City racked up 100 losses in back-to-back seasons.
It’s obvious that the Royals no longer want to be seen as one of the bottom of the pack teams and they are using this offseason to show they mean business. While a three-team trade for a well-known name might be normal for some teams, for the Royals, it’s unprecedented.
Benintendi may bring some concerns, but he also brings a lot of possibilities. He can get on base and seems to know what he’s doing when he gets there. And while it may not be a full replacement, he will be able to cover left field well, picking up where Alex Gordon left off.
The Royals could have forgotten about another bat and left their outfield as it was, but this new Kansas City mindset didn’t allow for that. Now the outfield seems more set than it has for the past few seasons, and there are still a number of good young options coming up, such as Royals’ prospect Kyle Isbel.
There are many ways to look at this trade, but overall it stands out as a success. Fans have wanted the Royals to make some moves, and now they are. Benintendi joins a group of newcomers in Kansas City, and it’s a group that could help make all the difference.
Also important to mention, Kansas City was able, so far, to complete this deal without giving up any of their top tier pitching prospects. While a pitcher could still be named later, it won’t likely be a top prospect.
The Royals improved around the field during this offseason and had just a few more boxes to check off.
Benintendi helps complete their list and is exactly the player Kansas City needed to help them win more, and win now.
The KC Royals deal for Andrew Benintendi was a good trade and will hopefully push them forward during the 2021 season.