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Red Sox Trade Rumors: Boston Not Motivated to Move Andrew Benintendi

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2019

Boston Red Sox's Andrew Benintendi takes the field during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Boston, Friday, May 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Boston Red Sox "aren't motivated at the moment" to move outfielder Andrew Benintendi, even to help facilitate a trade of pitcher David Price, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Jayson Stark.

Benintendi is eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason and is under club control through 2022.

A first-round pick in 2015 (seventh overall), Benintendi finished runner-up for the 2017 American League Rookie of the Year Award. One year later, he helped the Red Sox win a franchise-record 108 games en route to the 2018 World Series title.

The 25-year-old endured a down year—at least by his lofty standards—in 2019, though.

Benintendi hit .266 with 13 home runs, 40 doubles, five triples and 68 RBI in 138 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox missed the postseason for the first time since 2015 while going 84-78.

Following a disappointing season, Boston is attempting to shed enough salary to get below the $208 million competitive balance tax threshold, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Feinsand noted the team's current CBT payroll is roughly $225 million.

Moving Benintendi by himself would do little to help accomplish that goal, as Spotrac projects the outfielder to make a relatively modest $4.9 million in 2020. Including the rising star, though, could entice a team to take on the salary of Price (three years, $96 million) or Nathan Eovaldi (three years, $51 million).

"That's not going to happen," a source told Feinsand of Boston potentially using Benintendi as an asset to move other contracts.

Per Feinsand, Boston's ownership has not made it an "absolute mandate" that the club slash payroll.