Red Sox

MLB Rumors: Benintendi an available trade chip for Red Sox?

Red Sox
Andrew Benintendi
Andrew Benintendi
USA TODAY Sports

Has Andrew Benintendi already played his last game for the Boston Red Sox?

That question would have seemed unfathomable two years ago, when the right fielder hit .290 as a 23-year-old on the 2018 World Series champion Red Sox.

Benintendi's production has fallen sharply since then, however, and it appears Boston may be open to dealing him prior to Major League Baseball's Aug. 31 trade deadline.

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In a column Monday, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal described Benintendi as an "available three-plus hitter" while discussing potential trade partners for the Cleveland Indians, who are "open" to moving pitcher Mike Clevinger, per Rosenthal.

So are the Red Sox set to ship Benintendi to Cleveland for some much-needed rotation help in Clevinger? Not quite.

Rosenthal noted Benintendi's early-season struggles and current injury -- he was batting .103 before hitting the injured list Aug. 12 with a rib injury -- might make him difficult to move, especially for a quality arm like Clevinger (who is dealing with his own issues this season after violating MLB's COVID-19 protocols).

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Benintendi still has plenty of upside, though: The Red Sox' seventh overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft just turned 26 and racked up 177 RBIs over his first two full MLB seasons in 2017 and 2018.

Rosenthal didn't mention any active trade talks involving Benintendi or Clevinger. But the Red Sox' front office has suggested no player is untouchable, so perhaps they'll look into moving an outfielder once considered a potential franchise cornerstone.