The KC Royals will, in total, trade four players in exchange for Andrew Benintendi. Did they give up too many prospects in order to land the outfielder?
If you haven’t heard by now, the Kansas City Royals traded for Andrew Benintendi on Wednesday and in doing so, sent Franchy Cordero and two players to be named later to the Red Sox while also shipping top prospect Khalil Lee to the Mets.
While most Royals fans are excited about the trade — and they should be — it’s definitely understandable for some fans to feel like the team gave up a lot to land the former No. 7 overall pick.
I included a tweet below from Rany Jazayerli, writer for The Ringer, because he point blank said he thought this was a lot to give up for Benintendi and noted that Lee or Cordero could end up being better than the player KC traded for.
If the KC Royals want to win another World Series, they have to make deals like this.
Maybe the Royals did give up too much for Andrew Benintendi, but we won’t know the answer to that question for a few years. Benintendi is under contract for two years so we’ll know if the deal was worth it for the Royals after 2022, but it probably will take Lee some time to get to his true potential. He wasn’t hitting great in the minor leagues these past few years, but the Royals had high hopes for him as a defender.
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Lee can probably turn into something special, but the Royals felt okay trading him because they’re ready to win now and not in 2023 or 2024, which is when Lee will likely be rounding the corner. The Mets are definitely getting a special player, that’s for sure, but we won’t see him become that special player until Benintendi’s time in KC is up, so that’s why we won’t know the answer to this question for quite some time.
As for Cordero, the reason the Royals were able to acquire him in the first place was because of his injury history. He didn’t do much in his limited time with the Royals because he got injured and that made trading him an easy decision. Cordero could turn into a decent player, but there’s always going to be that risk of him being sidelined due to injury for a lengthy portion of the season. He hit just .211 through 42 plate appearances last season.
There are still two players to be named later that the Red Sox will receive from KC and these players aren’t typically big names (for instance, the Royals got Dylan Coleman in the trade that sent Trevor Rosenthal to San Diego for Edward Olivares).
I understand fans who are concerned about the amount the Royals gave up to land Benintendi. Fans who didn’t know much about him probably looked up his stats, saw how bad he was last year (he hit .103 on the season), and immediately panicked, but it’s a little more complex than that. Benintendi appeared in just 14 games and missed most of the season due to injury.
Prior to that, his lowest average was .266 and he was a Gold Glove finalist in 2018 and 2019. Benintendi was also a former first-round pick and won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2018, which is what makes him such a huge get for this young Royals team.
Maybe the Royals do look back on this trade and wish they hadn’t sent Khalil Lee to the Mets, but we won’t know if this was truly too much of a haul to give up for a few more years. For those of you on the fence, give this trade a chance. Benintendi could truly be a difference-maker for the Kansas City Royals.