The New York Yankees waded into the MLB trade deadline waters on Wednesday night, dealing for Kansas City Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi. The Yankees sent three prospects to the Royals for the All-Star outfielder, including no. 19 prospect T.J. Sikhema, no. 21 prospect Beck Way and unranked prospect Chandler Champlain.
Benintendi, a contact hitter batting .320 this season, lengthens the New York lineup. The prospects the Royals netted should help them boost up a lackluster pitching staff. But how did both teams make out? That's what we'll assess here when we whip out the grade book.
Without further ado, here are grades for the Yankees-Royals, Andrew Benintendi MLB trade deadline deal.
Yankees-Royals, Andrew Benintendi Trade Grades
Yankees grade: A
It's hard not to like this deal for the Yankees. New York outfielders not named Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton have been woeful with the bat this year (looking at you guys, Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks). Plus, with Stanton on the injured list, the Yankees needed some outfield insurance.
They got that- and more- in the Andrew Benintendi trade. The 28-year-old is capable of playing all three outfield spots and has won a Gold Glove. He owns a career .280 batting average and 18.1 percent strikeout rate, meaning his contact-oriented approach at the plate should fit right in with the Yankees.
The best part for New York? They didn't have to surrender any of their top prospects in the deal. T.J. Sikhema could be a potential back-end starter, but he missed the entire 2021 season with shoulder and lat injuries. Way is a right-hander with an upper-90s fastball and sweeping slider, though command and control issues had some scouts projecting him as more of a reliever.
New York was able to get Benintendi while still keeping the cupboard well-stocked for other MLB trade deadline endeavors, such as a trade with the Cincinnati Reds for ace Luis Castillo. If Benintendi agrees to get the vaccine- as it's been reported that he may- that's just the icing on the cake. This is a job well done by Brian Cashman.
Royals grade: B
It's hard to look at the return the Royals got in the Andrew Benintendi trade and not want for more. After all, Kansas City didn't get one prospect back from the Yankees who has advanced past Single-A ball in the minors.
However, the fact that they were able to net three prospects for an impending free agent outfielder, with the entire focus of baseball executives on Washington Nationals star Juan Soto, is impressive.
Plus, the bottom line is, the Royals flat-out need pitchers. The team has recorded the fourth-worst ERA in the league this season. It's in their best interest to invest in the future of their pitching staff.
That's exactly what Kansas City did here, as Sikhema, a lefty with a three-pitch mix who flashed strikeout upside in the minors, could be a rotation guy in the future. Way also has strikeout upside but could end up relegated to the bullpen in the future.
Champlain also showed the ability to throw strikes in Single-A Tampa. It's not a massive return for the Royals. But it's promising.
It's also an impressive return for Andrew Benintendi, given the circumstances.