The Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays are duking it out for second place in the American League East, and they might be competing on the trade market, as well.
Toronto is "among the teams with interest" in Kansas City Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi ahead of the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline, MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Wednesday.
Benentendi, who joined the Royals in February 2021 after spending his first five seasons with the Red Sox, is enjoying a strong 2022 campaign with a career-high .305 batting average and .370 on-base percentage.
While a bullpen arm is the Blue Jays' most pressing need, they also could benefit from adding a left-handed outfield bat, as right fielder Teoscar Hernandez is hitting just .242 versus right-handers compared to .300 against left-handers.
The Red Sox also need outfield help, however, and our John Tomase recently floated the possibility of a Benintendi reunion in Boston. With Kike Hernandez on the injured list, the Red Sox are getting virtually zero offensive production from Jackie Bradley Jr. Benintendi is also an excellent fielder who won a Gold Glove in 2021, so Boston's defense wouldn't suffer with Bradley out of the lineup.
Would chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom be willing to outbid his American League East rival to bring Benintendi back to Boston? That may depend on the Royals' price tag, and the Red Sox' top priority still should be adding a relief pitcher to bolster the bullpen, especially if recent minor league call-ups Jarren Duran and Rob Refsnyder continue to produce.
It's possible Benintendi returns to the AL East in some capacity, however.