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Yankees emerge as “serious contenders” for Andrew Benintendi

The All-Star could be dealt soon.

Cleveland Guardians v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The New York Yankees have emerged as “serious contenders” for Andrew Benintendi, according to MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand. He has also reported that Benintendi’s vaccination status is not affecting trade talks. Benintendi is unable to travel to Toronto unless he gets vaccinated, and the Yankees have one more regular season series there, and could potentially play there in the post-season.

Benintendi had two more hits last night and is hitting .319/.389/.402 with three home runs and 38 walks in 88 games. He was named to his first All-Star Game this summer and won his first Gold Glove last year. The 28-year-old is eligible for free agency at the end of the season. A few weeks ago, Jeff Passan said on the Baseball Tonight podcast that the return for Benintendi should be great.

“Andrew Benintendi is that very unique deadline player. Everyone wants him.. The low payroll teams want him, the high payroll teams want him. Big markets want him, small markets want him. When Andrew Benintendi goes, I think Kansas City better get an absolute haul for him because the interest is, frankly, just off the charts from everyone.”

MLB Pipeline ranked the Yankees farm system as #13 before the season, with the top four prospects all position players, although they note the Yankees have “several interesting arms who may be ready to contribute in the big leagues this season.” Pitchers like Ken Waldichuk, Hayden Wesneski, Luis Gil, Everson Pereira, and Luis Medina are all close to MLB-ready. The prize prospects in the system are shortstops Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, although it doesn’t seem likely the Yankees would part with either of them for a rental like Benintendi, but that may mean former first-round pick infielder Trey Sweeney could be available.

The Yankees have had underwhelming play from left fielder Joey Gallo and have had to fill right field with utility man Marwin Gonzalez and oft-injured outfielder Aaron Hicks. They also lost reliever Michael King for the year with an elbow injury last night, and could be interested in adding bullpen help as well.

Benintendi has also reportedly drawn interest from the Padres, and the Blue Jays, although that report was before it was publicly known that Benintendi was unvaccinated. The Braves, Cardinals, Mets, Brewers, Rays, and Mariners are among the other teams that could have interest in the outfielder.