First Mookie Betts -- now Andrew Benintendi?
The Boston Red Sox have been in "serious trade talks" with "multiple teams" regarding a deal for Benintendi, The Athletic's Jim Bowden reported Saturday.
According to Bowden, the Red Sox are seeking a return centered around pitching and outfield prospects. Boston has clear need for rotation help, and Benintendi is one of the club's top trade chips who could net a quality starter in return.
The 26-year-old outfielder has had an up-and-down Red Sox tenure to date. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, Benintendi hit .295 after his big-league call-up in 2016 and finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2017 with 20 home runs and 90 RBIs.
Benintendi hit a snag after the 2018 All-Star break, however, and hasn't returned to form since. He batted just .266 with 13 home runs and 68 RBIs in 2019 and went 4-for-39 over just 10 games during the shortened 2020 season.
The left-handed hitter still has plenty of upside with just four full seasons under his belt and perhaps could benefit from a fresh start. The Red Sox, meanwhile, need pitching more than a quality outfielder, and could fill Benintendi's void with corner outfielders Alex Verdugo and Hunter Renfroe.
UPDATE (8 p.m. ET): The Boston Globe's Alex Speier confirmed via a source that the Red Sox have been "open" to trading Benintendi this offseason.
But Speier added that the outfielder "remains in the team's plans" for now, and that Sox hitting coach Tim Hyers is scheduled to visit Benintendi on Monday.