Free agent outfielder Andrew Benintendi has signed a 5-year $75 million deal with the Chicago White Sox, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Benintendi was most recently with the New York Yankees as the Kansas City Royals traded him to the Bronz ahead of the 2022 trade deadline.
Benintendi played in 33 games for the Yanks and hit .254 with nine doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI. The New York outfield was a little crowded with players, and Benintendi couldn’t re-create his strong start to the year with his new team. In the 93 games he played with Kansas City, he hit .320 with 14 doubles, three home runs and 39 RBI. Benintendi will now return to the AL Central and get to play his old team often in the division.
Benintendi was playing on a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Royals in arbitration last season. This was his first shot at free agency, and he now will make an average of $15 million a year. This deal takes him through his age-32 season, which gives him flexibility depending on how his time in Chicago goes.
The White Sox dealt with injuries early on last season, but that gave us a sneak peek into the youth they have in the minors. Benintendi will likely head the outfield consisting of Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. This allows the White Sox to decide if they want to keep both Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets on the major league roster and if one of them will be the DH on a regular basis. If Benintendi is able to merge his two halves together from last season, he shouldn’t fall further than fifth in the batting order as the White Sox try and make a run at the division.