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Yankees acquire All-Star OF Andrew Benintendi from Royals

New York is adding the All-Star from Kansas City in a package for three minor league pitchers.

Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Kansas City Royals bats against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on July 2, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The New York Yankees are finalizing a deal to acquire Kansas City Royals OF Andrew Benintendi, first reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN. The MLB Trade Deadline is set for 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 2. The Yankees announced the deal shortly after the report.

The Yankees are expected to be active heading into the deadline and wasted no time adding an outfield replacement for Joey Gallo in left. Was the move always going to happen or perhaps was it sparked by the Yankees being swept by the New York Mets in a two-game series the past two nights. The world may never know.

Here are the three minor league pitchers heading to the Yankees. None of them are the pitchers listed below, so you can ignore that tidbit. This is a very, very good trade by Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Way and Sikkema are fringe top-20 prospects in the organization. Champain isn’t listed among the top-30 for the Yanks, per

The Yankees are sending back three minor league prospects in the deal with Kansas City. Jon Heyman reports that its three pitchers, so none of the Yankees big-name prospects are going back in the deal. That means Anthony Volpe, Jasson Dominguez and Oswald Peraza are staying put for now. However, this could mean top pitching prospect Ken Waldichuk is heading to the Royals. Hayden Wesneski and Yoendrys Gomez are the other two top pitching prospects in New York’s system.

This deal should mean the end of Joey Gallo in some capacity. Gallo will likely be traded before the deadline or rot on the bench for New York. Would the Yankees consider DFA’ing Gallo and sending him down? Chances are they’d send him to another team before that. Aaron Hicks likely won’t see as much playing time in the OF with the addition of Benintendi, at least once Giancarlo Stanton is back from the IL. Aaron Judge has been playing centerfield, but that doesn’t feel like a good long-term plan. We’ll see how the Yankees OF looks.

Benintendi makes sense at the top of the lineup, either batting leadoff or in the 2-hole. DJ LeMahieu and Benintendi at the top will be very tough for opposing pitchers knowing Judge, Anthony Rizzo and Stanton are next up. Benintendi is batting .320 with 39 RBI in 347 ABs this season. His ability to get on before the heavy hitters come up could be key to helping the Yanks secure the top seed in the MLB.

Benintendi becomes a free agent in 2023, so this is most likely a rental. It also doesn’t mean the Yankees won’t go out and acquire Washington Nationals OF Juan Soto. New York can very easily go with an OF of Judge, Benintendi and Soto. It would mean no more Hicks or Gallo, which is ideal at this point. There were some rumblings the Yankees made a very hefty offer for Soto, one which included a package of prospects and 2B Gleyber Torres.