Trade Central: Yankees Acquire Andrew Benintendi For Three Pitching Prospects
With less than a week to go until this year’s trading deadline, the Yankees struck a deal with the Royals to add outfielder Andrew Benintendi in exchange for three Class A pitching prospects.
The addition of Benintendi will give New York a lefthanded table-setter who provides contact and speed and who can also buttress a lineup dealing with the absence of Giancarlo Stanton and the ineffectiveness of Joey Gallo.
In exchange, the Royals get three prospects who will inject pitching talent into a system in sore need of young arms.
Andrew Benintendi, OF
In Benintendi, the Yankees are bolstering and balancing their lineup with a player who knows the strike zone, makes plenty of contact and can ably set the table in front of the lineup’s bigger boppers. Benintendi himself hasn’t provided much in the way of power this season, but there are plenty of other players in New York’s lineup who fit that bill. Originally drafted by the Red Sox out of Arkansas with the seventh overall pick in 2015 (a year when he also won Baseball America’s College Player of the Year award), Benintendi was a first-time all-star in 2022, won a Gold Glove in 2021 and was part of Boston’s 2018 World Series-winning team.
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Beck Way, RHP
Way was the Yankees’ fourth-rounder from the shortened 2020 draft, out of Northwest Florida State JC. He works with a three-pitch mix fronted by a heavy sinker and sweepy slider in the low-to-mid 90s. His changeup still needs further development, as does his overall consistency and command. Way also got stronger over the offseason, which has helped his repertoire tick up year over year. He’s likely a reliever in the long run, but if he can make improvements to his deficiencies he can fit toward the back of a bullpen and get important outs.
T.J. Sikkema, LHP
Sikkema’s development was stunted by injuries and the pandemic, and his work this year was his first since he pitched in the short-season New York-Penn League after being selected out of Missouri in supplemental first round of the 2019 draft. Back and healthy, Sikkema has been positively dominant with High-A Hudson Valley. His funky delivery amplifies a three-pitch mix that includes a lively low-90s fastball, a sweeper slider with huge break and a sinking changeup. He’s also worked to add a curveball back to his mix. Sikkema will need to be protected on the 40-man roster this winter to avoid exposure in the Rule 5 Draft.
Chandler Champlain, RHP
Instead of pitching post-draft in 2021, when he was taken in the ninth round out of Southern California, Champlain worked with the Yankees to further develop his arsenal. Specifically, they tweaked his fastball to give it more ride through the zone. The results opened eyes early this season in the Florida State League, where he unveiled a fastball that has touched 99 mph, which he uses in combination with a high-70s curveball and a mid-80s slider. Opposing scouts see a pitcher similar to Beck Way who uses a nasty breaking ball and a big fastball to miss bats. He likely fits as a reliever.