The New York Yankees are reportedly ramping up their pursuit of Kansas City Royals All-Star left fielder Andrew Benintendi.
MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Saturday that the Yankees have emerged as "serious contenders" to land Benintendi before the Aug. 2 trade deadline.
New York has been linked to Benintendi in recent weeks, in part because of the offensive struggles of left fielder Joey Gallo.
The 28-year-old Benintendi is a former Yankee rival, having played with the Boston Red Sox from 2016-2020.
Benintendi enjoyed a great deal of success in Beantown, including finishing second in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2017 and helping the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series.
His Boston tenure came to an end prior to the 2021 season when he was traded to Kansas City after he hit just .103 in 14 games for the Red Sox during the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.
Benintendi has rebounded nicely in two seasons with the Royals, hitting .276 with 17 home runs, 73 RBI and 63 runs last season as well as winning his first Gold Glove Award for his play in left field.
This season, Benintendi is slashing .319/.389/.402 with three homers, 39 RBI and 37 runs, plus he earned his first All-Star nod.
The Yankees outfield is populated by a pair of All-Stars in leading AL MVP candidate Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, who splits his time at designated hitter, but there is less certainty beyond them.
Aaron Hicks has picked things up since a slow start, but he is hitting just .238 with six homers and 29 RBI. New York has been using Matt Carpenter lately to get his bat in the lineup, but the veteran is a defensive liability.
Gallo is the outfielder whom the Yanks would most benefit from upgrading since he has had a miserable season at the plate.
Though he is a plus defender and has speed, he is hitting just .164 with 12 homers and 24 RBI, which isn't unlike what he did last season after New York acquired him from the Texas Rangers (.160, 13 homers, 22 RBI in 58 games).
Gallo is a two-time All-Star who has hit 38 or more home runs in a season three times, but he has been a detriment to the Yankees.
Benintendi has been the anti-Gallo in that he makes contact and gets on base. He hasn't displayed much power, but that could change for the lefty at Yankee Stadium thanks to the short porch in right field.
The Yankees have the best record in baseball (65-30) and don't have glaring needs with a 12-game lead in the AL East, but adding a player such as Benintendi would make their outfield and lineup even more versatile.