The Royals announced tonight they have acquired outfielder Andrew Benintendi and cash considerations from Boston in a three-team trade that sends outfielder Franchy Cordero and two players to be named to the Red Sox and outfielder Khalil Lee to the New York Mets, who acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Josh Winckowski and either a player to be named later or cash considerations from Boston.
Benintendi, 26, has spent his entire Major League career with the Red Sox. He was limited to 14 games in 2020 due to a right rib cage strain, but managed to draw 11 walks, which led the club through games of Aug. 11. In his last full season with the Sox, he slashed .266/.343/.431 (144-for-541), ranking tied for fifth in the American League with 40 doubles. The left-handed hitter was also fifth in the Majors, batting .326 (60-for-184) with two outs and tied for sixth with 44 two-out RBI. Defensively, he recorded nine outfield assists, which tied for sixth in the AL overall and ranked third among all left fielders.
Benintendi entered 2017 as Baseball America’s No. 1 prospect, and finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting to Aaron Judge. He leads the Majors with 32 outfield assists since ‘17, which included a career-high 12 in 2018, tying for the MLB lead. Benintendi has been Boston’s Opening Day left fielder in each of the last four seasons (2017-20), becoming the first Red Sox player to do that at age 26 or younger since Carl Yastrzemski (6 times, 1961-66). He recorded four hits and scored three runs in Game 1 of the 2018 World Series vs. the Dodgers, becoming the first player in Major League history to accomplish that in his first World Series game.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Benintendi attended the University of Arkansas, where he was named National Player of the Year by Baseball America in 2015 and also won the Dick Howser Trophy (top Division I player in the country) and the Golden Spikes Award (top amateur player). He was selected seventh overall by the Red Sox in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.
Cordero was acquired by the Royals from San Diego on July 16, 2020, while Lee was selected in the third round by the Royals in the 2016 Draft.