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Is It Already Time for the Royals to Consider Trading Andrew Benintendi?

Benintendi is on fire to start the season, but should KC shop him?

The 2022 Major League Baseball season is ten games, and the Kansas City Royals are currently 3-5 overall. Unfortunately, the Royals have been subject to weather and canceled games, but Kansas City has started slowly nonetheless. One player has done the complete opposite, though. Outfielder Andrew Benintendi has been a glowing light inside a lineup that has struggled to manufacture runs.

In his first season with the Royals, Benintendi hit .276/.324/.442 with 27 doubles, 17 home runs and 73 RBIs. To go even more in-depth, he posted a .329 rOBA, .309 BABIP, and a .166 ISO. Benintendi was not only productive at the plate, but he was elite in the field. He won an American League Gold Glove, after all. He's picked back up where he left off and then some to start this season, getting off to a scorching start. That prompts a question, however.

Should the Royals trade him?

In eight games, Benintendi has recorded 32 plate appearances. In those 32 plate appearances, he is slashing .357/.438/.464 with tens hits, a home run, four RBIs and four walks. It's a tremendous start on an otherwise cold team. Consequently, there are a couple of reasons why the Royals should entertain the idea of trading the 27-year-old left fielder.

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The Royals have yet to sign Benintendi long-term

Jun 5, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Andrew Benintendi (16) hits a two run hime run in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Benintendi will be due an inevitable contract, and he has earned it. His price is not getting cheaper, and he is right in the thick of his athletic prime. It remains to be seen how much money he wants, how many years he wants his next deal to be for or whether he'd even like to remain in Kansas City beyond 2022, further complicating the situation.

When you look back on the trade that brought Benintendi to Kansas City, the club lost no significant value. If the Royals decided to hold on to him and he elects to test free agency after this season, that would be the loss net. Benintendi may not want to stay with the Royals organization, at which it would be wise to trade him at his peak value. Getting something back for a player who could be on his way out makes a great deal of sense.

Viable options are waiting to contribute

Oct 3, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Kyle Isbel (28) is congratulated in the dugout after scoring against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are creating a youth movement, which is apparent with the call up of Bobby Witt Jr. to begin the year. Some may use the term "rebuild." However you see it, the team is getting younger and has potential options behind Benintendi. Two current Royals, Kyle Isbel and Edward Olivares, are waiting to get an opportunity to showcase their talents in a full-time role.

How the season continues to unravel for the Royals could trigger a trade. They could trade Benintendi to a contending team and, in return, get some viable minor league prospects that would fit with the aforementioned youth movement. With the season being in its infant stage, however, the Royals will likely hold tight on moving Benintendi. With that said, the logic is there for a move in due time.