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Report: Yankees pursuing ex-Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi

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A familiar face could be rejoining the pennant race in the American League East.

According to the New York Post, the Yankees and Royals have discussed a deal that would bring former Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi to New York.

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The Yankees want to find an upgrade on outfielder Joey Gallo, an all-or-nothing power hitter who has trended a lot closer to the second half of that equation during his time in pinstripes. Benintendi doesn't possess Gallo's power, but he's a far better contact hitter, and he's just a year removed from winning his first Gold Glove.

Benintendi, who won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2018, is hitting .317 with a .789 OPS in Kansas City and will likely be the Royals' lone All-Star. All but 18 of Benintendi's 97 hits have been singles, and he only has three home runs, but his high-contact approach is a better fit for New York's lineup than Gallo's .166 average and 92 strikeouts.

The Royals are expected to be heavy sellers at the deadline, and Benintendi might be their most sought after rental. He can become a free agent in the fall and is making a reasonable $8.5 million.

Billed as a future All-Star and potential batting champ in Boston, he never quite lived up to his potential over five seasons here. He reached the majors just a year after being drafted seventh overall out of Arkansas in 2015, and he helped the Red Sox reach the playoffs in each of his first three seasons, culminating in the 2018 championship.

 

Though he hit only .268 that postseason with no homers, he made one of the pivotal plays of the title run with a diving catch to end Game 4 of the American League Championship Series vs. the Astros.