The Phillies are reportedly discussing a trade for Red Sox OF Andrew Benintendi.
The Philadelphia Phillies appear motivated to upgrade their outfield for the 2021 season. Following last month’s rumors that they have interest in free-agent Jackie Bradley Jr., the Dave Dombrowski-led organization reportedly is eyeing another longtime Boston Red Sox All-Star outfielder.
According to the Locked On Podcast Network’s Gabrielle Starr, the Phillies and Red Sox have been in trade discussions regarding five-year veteran and 2018 World Series champion, Andrew Benintendi. In return, the Phillies would potentially send Boston the first overall pick from the 2016 draft, outfielder Mickey Moniak, as well as a “Triple-A arm.”
Benintendi, 26, was drafted by the Red Sox seventh overall in the 2015 draft. He quickly rose through the system before debuting in August 2016. During his first full season in 2017, Benintendi finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year Award race, slashing .271/.352/.424 with 26 doubles, 20 home runs, 90 RBI, and 20 stolen bases.
The Cincinnati, Ohio, native had even more success in 2018, batting .290, but has struggled in his two seasons since. Combined across 152 games and 667 plate appearances in 2019-20, he slashed .255/.341/.410. In 2020, Benintendi played just 14 games due to a strained rib cage, and slashed a disappointing .103/.314/.128 across 52 plate appearances.
Earlier this week, The Athletic’s Jim Bowden reported that the Red Sox have been in “serious trade talks” with several teams regarding Benintendi. In exchange for the outfielder, they reportedly are looking for a prospects-type return, with an emphasis on pitching and an outfielder — which aligns with Starr’s reported Phillies rumor. On the same day of the report, the BostonSportsJournal’s Sean McAdam tweeted that a Benintendi deal could happen “soon.”
Benintendi has experience playing both left field and centerfield. It is not clear which position he would log regular innings at in 2021. His flexibility could spare a day off for Andrew McCutchen, or add a potential stronger bat to the lineup than Adam Haseley or Roman Quinn when he plays center.
While Benintendi has struggled in recent seasons, in part due to injury, no one knows him better than 2018 World Series champion Red Sox executive Dombrowski — now of the Phillies. During the 2018 Fall Classic, the left-handed-hitting outfielder slashed .333/.368/.389 with five singles, one double, one RBI, and one walk.
The Phillies made a trade with the Red Sox this past August that brought them relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree. Time will tell if another deal with them, this time for Benintendi, comes to fruition — and whether that swap includes Moniak, who has failed to live up to his No. 1 overall pick status thus far in the Phillies organization.