The New York Yankees made the first of what could be a flurry of moves ahead of next week’s trade deadline, acquiring the All-Star outfielder André Benintendi from Kansas City Royalswas announced Wednesday night.
The Yankees are sending three minor league pitching prospects to the Royals in exchange for Benintendi, 28: right-hander Beck Way, right-hander Chandler Champlain and left-hander TJ Sikkema.
Left-handed hitter Benintendi was named for his first career MLB All-Star Game this season. Through Wednesday, he is breaking a career-best .320 with three home runs and 39 RBIs and a .788 OPS in 93 games this season.
Giancarlo Stanton, who played 38 games in the outfield. is expected to miss at least two to three weeks after being on the injured list this week with left Achilles tendonitis. Joey Gallo hit .161 with 103 strikeouts in 230 at-bats, becoming a frequent target of fan boos.
New York has increasingly used the 36-year-old Matt Charpentier in the outfield, where he hadn’t played since 2014.
“Benintendi is a great hitter,” Yankees coach Aaron Boone said after Wednesday’s game. Defeat 3-2 to New York food and before the announcement of the exchange. “Gets to the base at a really high clip. Hits from the left side, so, yeah, gives you some balance.”
Last season, Benintendi hit .276 with 17 home runs and 73 RBIs, earning a Gold Glove in his first season with the Royals. It was acquired by Kansas City from the Boston Red Sox in February 2021 as part of a three-team trade that also involved the Mets.
“He’s a very good player,” Judge said. “I had the good fortune to play against him for several years when he was playing in Boston, and I saw him do a lot of awesome things. … He’s definitely going to be a big chunk of what we have going on here.”
Judge added: “I think adding a guy like that would definitely give us a little boost, for sure. And I think he’s going to fit in perfectly.”
Benintendi is .261 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs in 30 career games at Yankee Stadium. He finished second to the judge in the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year voting and won a World Series title with Boston the following year.
I did not mean it one of 10 Royals players who did not make it to Toronto in mid-July for a four-game series with the Blue Jays because they had not received the COVID-19 vaccine. He lost $186,813 of the $8.5 million salary he won in an arbitration case against the Royals.
New York thinks he’s ready to get vaccinated. No Yankees have missed previous trips to Toronto this season, and the Yankees have a three-game series there Sept. 26-28.
“For me, it was a personal decision,” Benintendi said earlier this month of the vaccine. “And I’ll leave it at that.”
Champlain, 23, was a ninth-round pick last year and was 2-5 with a 4.30 ERA in 15 starts and one relief appearance at Tampa’s Class A.
Sikkema, 24, was selected in the Competitive Balance Round A of the 2019 draft and went 1-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 10 starts and a relief appearance at Class A Hudson Valley.
Way, 22, was a fourth-round pick two years ago and was 5-5 with a 3.73 ERA in 15 starts at Hudson Valley.
Thursday night, the Royals open a series at Yankee Stadium.
Marly Rivera of ESPN and The Associated Press contributed to this report.