Andrew Benintendi is being made available in trade by the Boston Red Sox. Should the Texas Rangers take advantage?
Despite the transaction wire moving at a glacial pace this off-season, the rumor mill continues to churn.
This time, the speculation is circulating around Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi.
According to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, Boston is making their former top prospect available in trade talks.
Benintendi, just 26-years-old, is coming off a 2020 season that was easily the worst of his career, finishing the year with a horrendous .442 OPS, an unsightly 27 OPS+ and no home runs in just 39 at-bats (52 plate appearances)
Fortunately, the fifth-year outfielder’s career batting statistics are much more palatable, having amassed a .789 OPS and 107 OPS+ overall with the Red Sox.
While those figures are all solid, they’re quite unspectacular when juxtaposed against his No. 1 prospect in all of baseball ranking by Baseball America as recently as 2017.
Benintendi has the pedigree, but hasn’t seen the results to this point (though he is a World Champion, at least).
Perhaps a change of scenery would be just the remedy to unlock those skills. Would a trade to the Texas Rangers make sense?
To put it simply: no.
The Texas Rangers probably shouldn’t trade for Andrew Benintendi.
First of all, the Rangers have their outfield configuration set for 2021, with David Dahl expected to man left field, along with Leody Taveras in center field and Joey Gallo‘s Gold Glove in right field.
Therefore, Benintendi would have no immediate place to play (unless he wants to try second or third base?).
Secondly, the team acquiring Benintendi would only have him through the 2023 season, meaning Texas would have to surrender assets during a rebuild in exchange for the mere thought of a change of scenery benefitting the veteran outfielder.
Trading away a pitcher and/or an outfielder to the Red Sox for two years of control on a struggling former top prospect, who is also entering his most expensive years of arbitration? No, thank you.
Though the Rangers did trade for first baseman Nate Lowe this off-season, exchanging prospects for his services, Lowe has yet to really scratch the surface in his big league career. But he more importantly has years of cheap control ahead (not a free agent until 2027).
In Benintendi’s case, Texas would have to at least consider the idea of an extension, seeing as the team’s window of contention is lined up more with the former’s free agency.
So would Benintendi fit in the Rangers’ long term plans? With an extension, you can make the case that he could, since just one top prospect in the organization’s system is an outfielder, and he’s already made himself a fixture on the big league roster (Leody Taveras).
The rest of Texas’ outfield prospect depth is likely years away from making any impact, meaning that if Gallo were to walk for nothing in 2023, as would Benintendi should the team trade for him (and assuming no extension), the organization’s outfield depth would suddenly become pretty bare at the big league level just as they plan to contend.
Of course, Rangers’ brass would be too smart to allow that scenario to occur (we hope).
Ultimately, there appears to be more cons than pros for the Texas Rangers when evaluating a potential trade for Andrew Benintendi.
However, that’s not stopping us from exploring all avenues…