Outfielder Andrew Benintendi is heading to Kansas City in a three-team trade between the Red Sox, Royals and Mets. The deal was officially announced Wednesday night.
Outfielder Khalil Lee, the Royals' No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is going to the Mets, and outfielder Franchy Cordero and two players to be named are heading from the Royals to the Red Sox. In addition, Boston is getting right-hander Josh Winckowski and a player to be named from New York.
The Red Sox will send $2.8 million to the Royals to help cover part of Benintendi’s $6.6 million salary, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
“Andrew Benintendi is a proven talent at this point in time in his career,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “Been a part of playoffs, and he’s a proven winner. Gets on base. He does a lot of things that you need players to do in your lineup if you’re going to win. He fits really well with our current group and in a lot of the things we were able to execute this offseason.”
Royals get: OF Andrew Benintendi and cash (from BOS)
Red Sox get: OF Franchy Cordero and two PTBN (from KC); RHP Josh Winckowski and PTBN (from NYM)
Mets get: OF Khalil Lee (from KC)
The 26-year-old Benintendi was selected in the first round (seventh overall) by the Red Sox in the 2015 Draft. He finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2017, when he hit .271/.352/.424 with 20 homers and 20 steals in 151 games. From 2018-19, he slashed .279/.355/.448, averaging 14 homers and 16 steals. He only appeared in 14 games last season due to a rib injury.
“I think in many ways the accomplishments of homegrown players are the most special to organizations, and Andrew is a great example of that,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said. “There are so many people who played a role in bringing him to the organization, helping him become who he became and supporting him along the way. Obviously Andrew deserves the most credit for what he accomplished, but for all of those people, there's a ton to be proud of.”
Cordero, also 26, made his MLB debut with the Padres in 2017. Due to injuries, he only appeared in 79 games for San Diego from 2017-19, posting a .737 OPS with 10 homers, though his home runs showed off his tremendous raw power. He was traded in July 2020 to the Royals, but only played in 16 games before having surgery to repair a broken right hamate bone, going 8-for-38 (.211) with two homers.
Lee, 22, was selected by the Royals in the third round of the 2016 Draft. He moved up quickly through the Kansas City organization, reaching Double-A by age 21 and hitting .264/.363/.372 with 53 steals for Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2019. He can play center field, but according to MLB Pipeline's scouting report, profiles better as a right fielder who could become an everyday player in the Majors if he can tap into his raw power at the plate.
Winckowski, whom the Mets recently acquired in the trade that sent Steven Matz to the Blue Jays, had a strong 2019 campaign between Class A Lansing and Class A Advanced Dunedin in Toronto's organization, finishing with a 2.69 ERA in 24 combined appearances (23 starts). The 22-year-old right-hander owns a career ERA of 3.35 over four Minor League seasons. He ranked 26th among Mets prospects following the trade from the Blue Jays.