The Yankees and Royals have made the biggest move in the Deadline season yet. New York announced an agreement to buy a foreign player Andrew Benintende From Kansas City in exchange for promoting prospects pick wayAnd the TJ Sikkema And the Chandler Champlain.
Benintendi has been one of the most visible commercial candidates in the game over the past few months. The Royals entered 2022 with competition designs, but faltered at the record 16-32 through the end of May. That made Kansas City a clear deadline seller, and an imminent free agent like Benintende would likely change uniforms.
New York adds a contact-oriented bat to its outdoor mix. Benintendi has a year-round .321/.389/.399 streak, walking in a solid 10.1% clip while only coming out on 13.5% of his trips to the plate. He’s only connected in three home runs, but Benintendi leads the bigs with 91 singles and 14 doubles. He didn’t look like the Homer 15-20 racket he had during his first seasons with the Red Sox, but he dialed in with 82.6% of his swings.
Benintendi’s high hit rate of 368 is supported on the ball level during gameplay. As a driving hitter who uses the entire field, he usually generates solid results on hit balls, although the Yankees are unlikely to expect their mark in 2022 to remain very high. Even if his BABIP regresses close to his job number of 0.325, plate discipline and bat control should support a steady ratio on the base.
Benentende’s racquet-to-ball skills contrast sharply with the player he is likely to remove from the squad, Joey Gallo. The biggest pickup in New York this past summer, Gallo has struggled hard since landing in the Bronx. He’s a .160/.293/.371 hitter in 498 board appearances as a Yankee, making a whopping 38.4% clip over this stretch. Among the hitters who have appeared on the 200-plus plates this season, Gallo has the third-highest strike rate (38.1%) and the third-lowest contact rate on flips (62.2%).
The Yankees are now about to roll out Benintende, the MVP candidate Aaron Judge And the Aaron Hicks – Huge .333/ .471/ .593 streak this month after a slow start to the season — most days. Giancarlo Stanton He is the designated primary hitter, although he fell on the injured list yesterday. New York has already begun to cut back on Gallo’s playing time while working in the hot weather Matt Carpenter In the outside corner mix, tonight’s possession is the strongest signal yet that the Yankees are ready to fully pressure Gallo. It stands to reason that they would try to find a trader for him to trade before the next Tuesday deadline.
The judge has dealt appropriately with the transition from right-hand court to center this year, leaving Hicks and Benentende to play in the corners. The latter has played exclusively on the left field since landing at the expansive football field in Kansas City, and has earned a good rating in the eyes of both Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating. Statcast’s Outs Above Average has installed it as a completely zero defender in each of the past couple of years. It should add an above-average fit on the field while offering a marked improvement over Gallo’s recent work on the board. This will be a boost to the squad that has already led the big companies with a score of 523 points.
That the Yankees pulled the trigger on a Benentende deal would surely raise some eyebrows for an off-field reason. He was placed on the banned list before the recent Royals series in Toronto, indicating that he had not been vaccinated against COVID-19 at the time. This makes it unavailable for a chain in Toronto that prevents it from changing its vaccination status or removing the ongoing ban on unvaccinated athletes crossing the border. Reports surfaced shortly thereafter that the Yankees could be dissuaded from pursuing him due to concerns about his availability.
This was clearly not the case in the end. John Heyman of the New York Post and Andy Martino of SNY (Twitter links) that some close to Benintendi believe he is now ready to vaccinate. Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Jason Stark point out that the vaccination case did not come up in conversations between the Yankees and Royals’ front desks (Twitter link). Whether it was because the Yankees expected he would eventually be eligible to play in Toronto or whether they just decided to accept his potential absence for a few games is not clear.
The Yankees, who opened a four-game streak against the Royals tomorrow, have only three games left in the regular season in Toronto. With a cushion of 11 1/2 games on Jays in the AL East, a three-game absence – if it comes down to it – seems unlikely to have much of an impact on the regular season standings, although it may be relevant to the event. The Yankees and Jays meet in the playoffs.
Benintendi plays this season with a salary of $8.5 million, about $3.3 million of which will be paid out over the remainder of the season. The teams haven’t mentioned any monetary considerations, so it looks like the Yankees will be going for the rest of that tab. New York’s luxury tax payroll is now just under $265 million, Jason Martinez estimates Menu resource. They pay a 20% tax on the first $20 million over the base cap of $230 million, with a 32% fee on every dollar spent between $250 million and $270 million. If they exceed $270 million via future trades, they will owe a 62.5% tax on any money up to $290 million (with higher fees thereafter). It’s a franchise record level of spending for the Yankees, who look likely to explore both rotation and bull upgrades over the next few days.
Moving on to the return of the royals, they’ll bring in a trio of lowercase small arms. Way, Sikkema, and Champlain are all ranked among the Yankees’ top 30 teams America baseball, with Way taking first place on the group and 13th in the system. ESPN’s Kelly McDaniel agrees Way is the main headline for the comeback, Twitter It looks like the beginning of the middle of a potential turnover.
A fourth-round pick in 2020, Way has spent the season in High-A Hudson Valley. He worked 72 1/3 rounds of 3.73 Era balls, and scored above average by 27.6% of opposing hitters. The 22-year-old (next month 23) right-hander has set solid numbers for the ball throughout his early professional career and is leading his career low with 9% of the hitters. Way’s control was previously sporadic, but BA credits him with fastball in the mid-’90s and a promising sweeping slider.
Sikkima was the 38th overall pick in the 2019 draft. The canceled minor league season in 2020 spent his first full professional season, missing the entire past year on the injured list. This confluence of factors means he’s only appeared 15 times as a pro, but he has a 2.48 ERA with a whopping 38% strike ratio and 6.3% solid walking rate during 36 1/3 innings at High-A this year. BA praises his ability to throw hits and suggests that his lower arm opening adds some bluff to his delivery. He will have to be added to the Royals’ 40-player roster at the end of the season or be hit by Draft Rule 5.
Champlain was one of the inductees in the ninth round of USC last season. The 23-year-old spent the entire year with Low-A Tampa, scoring a 4.30 ERA with a strike rate of 30.5% versus a walking rate of 6.2% in 16 outings versus an overall smaller competition. American baseball credits him with speedball in the mid-’90s and a promising slider.
The Benintendi deal will be the first of a lot of dominoes to fall over the next few days. Rosenthal and Stark reported that the Blue Jays, Brewers and Dodgers were among the teams that had some interest in the Benintende, and it makes sense that the rest of that group could look for other ways to add to their outdoor field. Ben JameelAnd the David Peralta And the Tyler Naken They are among the other players in the rental space to have available, although none of them are likely to attract as much attention as Benintendi.
Jack Carey from YES He was the first to mention that the Yankees were acquiring the Benintende. Jeff Bassan from ESPN I first mentioned that members of the royal family were receiving three young shepherds, including Joel Sherman from The New York Post At first Way, Sikkema and Champlain were identified.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.
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