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Royals send two minor leaguers to Boston to complete the Andrew Benintendi trade

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Grant Gambrell and Luis de la Rosa head to Boston.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Royals announced they have sent pitchers Grant Gambrell and Luis de la Rosa to the Red Sox to complete the Andrew Benintendi trade. The Royals had previously sent them outfielder Franchy Cordero and had sent outfielder Khalil Lee to the Mets.

The Mets today also sent the Red Sox a player to be named later, 17-year old outfielder Freddy Valdez. So the complete trade is:

  • The Royals get outfielder Andrew Benintendi (from KC) and give up outfielders Khalil Lee (to NYM) and Franchy Cordero (to BOS) and pitchers Grant Gambrell (to BOS) and Luis de la Rosa (to BOS)
  • The Red Sox get outfielder Franchy Cordero (from KC) and Freddy Valdez (from NYM) and pitchers Josh Winckowski (from NYM), Grant Gambrell (from KC) and Luis de la Rosa (from KC) and give up outfielder Andrew Benintendi (to KC)
  • The Mets get outfielder Khalil Lee (from KC) and give up outfielder Freddy Valdez (to BOS) and pitcher Josh Winckowski (to BOS)

Gambrell was the Royals’ third-round pick in the 2019 draft out of Oregon State. He had some injury and consistency issues in college, but Eric Longenhagen at Fangraphs notes he “was sitting 94-96 during 2021 spring action and looked to me to be in much better shape”, noting he had a “power-pitcher’s repertoire” with a chance to “blow up” this year. Gambrell posted a 6.67 ERA in 27 innings in Advanced Rookie ball at Idaho Falls in 2019, and has a 4.37 ERA in five starts for the Quad Cities River Bandits in High-A ball this year.

de la Rosa is a former shortstop-turned-pitcher signed out of the Dominican Republic for $147,500. Baseball America wrote when he signed that he “has an array of positive projection indicators, with some of that projection already starting to bear out.” More recently, Longenhagen wrote he is a “very advanced 18-year-old righty with a good idea of how to use his four-pitch mix.” He still throws in the high-80s/low-90s but already had a solid curveball and change. de la Rosa struck out 52 with just 7 walks in 38 2/3 innings with a 2.33 ERA as a 16-year old in the Dominican Summer League in 2019, but has yet to pitch in an affiliated game stateside.

Andrew Benintendi has been a solid fixture at the top of the Royals’ lineup, hitting .292/.351/.400 with 5 home runs and 24 RBI in 51 games. He has been especially potent since making adjustments in late April, hitting .347/.399/.484 over his last 35 games, earning Royals Player of the Month honors in May. The Royals have him under club control through the 2022 season. Franchy Cordero is hitting just .179/.228/.274 with one home run and a 36 percent strikeout rate in 34 games with Boston. Khalil Lee is just 1-for-18 with 13 strikeouts in 11 games with the Mets.