MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees Unlikely to Pursue Andrew Benintendi; Mets Linked

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 14, 2022

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 27: Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Kansas City Royals hits a single against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium on June 27, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images)
Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images

The New York Yankees need an outfielder ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline, but per multiple reports, the unvaccinated status of Kansas City Royals All-Star Andrew Benintendi has taken him out of contention, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Yankees are unlikely to continue pursuit of Andrew Benintendi since he is unvaccinated. NYY has 6 games left in Toronto and could meet Jays in playoffs. Yanks are the one team to send their complete roster to play in Toronto.

While the Bronx Bombers might be out on Benintendi, their New York counterparts over at Citi Field still reportedly have interest:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

While the Yankees aren’t likely to keep pursuing Benintendi, sources indicate Benintendi remains at least on the Mets’ radar (they seek a hitter) <a href="https://twitter.com/J_Tasch?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@J_Tasch</a> <a href="https://t.co/UudNb4GGu1">https://t.co/UudNb4GGu1</a>

Andy Martino @martinonyc

While Andrew Benintendi’s vaccination status would give Yankees pause, not same effect for Mets. Unlike Yanks they already have unvaccinated players , and they don’t play in Canada. So they see it as different calculus

Benintendi was one of 10 Royals who are unvaccinated and weren't permitted to travel to Toronto for a series against the Blue Jays this weekend because of Canada's rules requiring vaccination or testing and 14-day quarantine to enter the country:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

The 10 Kansas City Royals who are not vaccinated and will miss the trip to Toronto are: OF Andrew Benintendi, IF/OF Whit Merrifield, C M.J. Melendez, DH Hunter Dozier, SP Brad Keller, SP Brady Singer, CF Michael A. Taylor, OF Kyle Isbel, RP Dylan Coleman and C Cam Gallagher.

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

The lost pay for the 10 unvaccinated <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Royals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Royals</a>, per <a href="https://twitter.com/AP_Sports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AP_Sports</a>:<br>Benintendi: $186,813<br>Merrifield: $153,846<br>Keller: $106,044<br>Dozier: $98,901<br>Taylor: $98,901<br>Gallagher: $19,451<br>Singer: $15,962<br>Isbel: $15,426<br>Coleman: $15,399<br>Melendez: $15,385

"For me, it was a personal decision," Benintendi told reporters regarding his unvaccinated status. "And I'm going to leave it at that."

But that decision might make him a far less intriguing option on the market for AL East teams—which regularly travel to Toronto—or American League contenders in general who wouldn't want to give up valuable assets for a player who might not be available for half a playoff series.

Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

I viewed Benintendi and Taylor as players that should interest the Yankees in trades but how could you acquire anyone who at moment would not be able to play in the 3-game series in Toronto in September plus (more vital) if the clubs face each other in the playoffs? <a href="https://t.co/KuzTpMLcoq">https://t.co/KuzTpMLcoq</a>

Andy McCullough @ByMcCullough

This is beside the point, but that would put a damper on Andrew Benintendi's trade value, especially in the American League East.

Instead, National League teams like the Mets—who would only have to worry about a potential World Series matchup in Toronto, if the 47-42 Blue Jays make it that far—now feel like more likely suitors.

Benintendi, 28, is hitting .317 this season with three homers, 37 RBI, 37 runs and a .786 OPS. While his power numbers are trending down from a year ago (17 dingers, 73 RBI0, both his batting average and on-base percentage (.386) are currently career-high marks.

So for teams in need of an upgrade in the outfield, Benintendi would provide a very solid option. Just don't be surprised if he ends up in the National League.