In his contract year, this KC Royals outfielder has a case for an extension.
Andrew Benintendi, the talented left fielder Kansas City traded Franchy Cordero and Khalil Lee for two winters ago, has business to settle with the Royals sometime in the near future. Unless they reach a last-minute accord, he and the club are headed for an arbitration hearing after they couldn’t agree on terms for a 2022 contract.
After the start he’s having, the Royals may want to seriously consider cutting a brand new deal with Benintendi, especially considering he’s eligible for free agency after this season.
Through Saturday, Benintendi is the only Royal hitting better than .242—although New York held him hitless (only the fourth time opponents have managed that this season)—he’s hitting .373 with 10 RBIs and six walks in 19 games. His .419 OBP and .882 OPS are excellent.
He also hasn’t made an error, which isn’t surprising considering the Gold Glove he won last year for his first season trying to replace Alex Gordon in left field.
Coupled with that honor and the finish he put on his 2021 campaign, the case Benintendi is now making for an extension is compelling. He overcame an early season slump and later a rib fracture to hit .342 and drive in 29 runs last September and ended the year with a .276 average and 17 homers, and his 2022 numbers suggest he’s headed for an even better season.