With this summer's MLB trade deadline fast approaching, the Yankees have an opportunity to rectify one of their biggest weaknesses.
Joey Gallo has been horrible all year long and Aaron Hicks has failed to consistently produce, a clear impetus for New York to dive head first into the market for an outfielder.
It's already been reported that the Yankees are looking to acquire an outfielder before the deadline on August 2. They'd be silly not to try, or at least give one of their internal options in Triple-A a shot.
Instead of beating around the bush, this Yankees scout took this situation to the next level.
In an interview with Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media, a team scout said New York should trade "anything" to make sure they get Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi.
Here's a snippet of Miller's Q & A with the scout:
Q: Are you good with the Yankees going with Aaron Hicks in left, Aaron Judge in center and Giancarlo Stanton in right, or would you trade for someone and make Hicks the extra guy?
Scout: They ought to go out and trade with Kansas City for Andrew Benintendi. He’s a line-drive hitter from the left side who is hitting .300. He’s somebody that you can count on every day. He’d stabilize left field to where you don’t have to worry about it. He won a Gold Glove year. He played and won in Boston, so he can handle the New York market and pressure. He’s got big-time makeup, too. I’m telling you, the Yankees need this guy in their lineup instead of Gallo.
Q: What’s it going to cost to get Benintendi? He’s a free agent after the season, so you’re only getting a rental.
Scout: The Royals are asking for a lot. They’ll probably get two good prospects. They want young position players and the Yankees have enough to get a deal done and not give up the guys that they really want to keep — Anthony Volpe, Jasson Dominguez, probably Austin Wells.
Q: What would you give up for Benintendi?
Scout: Anything. The Yankees have a chance to win the World Series this year. If Benintendi cost you Oswald Peraza or Everson Pereira plus a good pitching prospect, do it. They probably won’t trade Clarke Schmidt. I get it. I like him, too, and he’ll probably be in their rotation next year. I’m not as high on JP Sears. The pitcher I’d keep is Luis Medina. I saw him in Somerset this year and I think he can be a big arm in the Yankees bullpen right now. But anyone else, if a couple of prospects who are ranked high can get you a hitter that might help you win a World Series, I’d never let that stop me from making a trade.
To read the rest of Miller's interview with one of New York's scouts, click here and head over to NJ.com
Benintendi would certainly be an upgrade in left field for the Yankees, but parting ways with top prospects for a rental—Benintendi will be a free agent after this season—could certainly backfire.
Yes, Benintendi has plenty experience in the American League East from his time with the Red Sox, his offensive numbers are solid, he has a promising track record and he can absolutely help this team win, but is half a season of Benintendi worth sacrificing the entire future of a highly-touted infielder like Oswald Peraza? And is that really the asking price right now?
Perhaps Benintendi is enough of a good fit that he's worth one of the best prospects in the organization. Every team is constantly choosing between hugging prospects and reeling in proven commodities. That said, you have to figure there are other cheaper alternatives that wouldn't require as big of a return and still help this team.
Conversely, if New York is truly willing to trade a prospect like Peraza, there are other outfielders that are better and have more team control, like Chicago's Ian Happ or Pittsburgh's Bryan Reynolds. To take that a step further, why not swing for the fences and unload the farm for Washington's Juan Soto? It would obviously take much more than one top prospect (and a significant financial commitment), but that supports the logic of going all-in to win this year while also building an unstoppable contender for years to come. Soto is reportedly "extremely unlikely" to be available at the deadline, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, but the right package of prospects might chance that.
The Yankees must also keep in mind that outfield isn't the only part of this roster that needs to be addressed ahead of the deadline. A reliever would help after all the adversity this bullpen has faced and New York may want to add a starter as well, a reinforcement for a rotation that's been consistent all year long.
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