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The Boston Red Sox may consider trading Andrew Benintendi this off-season. Should the Atlanta Braves consider making a move for the young outfielder?
The Boston Red Sox made some news as reports surfaced that they were having trade conversations centered around Andrew Benintendi. We look at how that could play into the hands of the Atlanta Braves.
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Should the Atlanta Braves consider adding Benintendi to the outfield alongside Cristian Pache and Ronald Acuña Jr.?
The Red Sox would probably be selling low on Benintendi as the last two seasons have not been kind to his value. He had a 100 wrc+ in 2019 and a 43 wrc+ in the shortened 2020 season while only playing 14 games.
While the pace of the offseason is picking up, the Atlanta Braves still have a lot of work to do before the 2021 season begins.
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It’s not just that the Atlanta Braves need a big bat — we all know that’s priority number one — but there are several smaller moves that need to be made as well.
While I believe this roster at full strength, with the addition of another bat or two, is more than capable of winning the NL East and making a deep run in the postseason — I worry about the depth of the Braves.
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The starting rotation is the only area that has plenty of depth with at least seven guys I feel pretty comfortable with. But we all know how quickly starting pitching depth can evaporate.
They could certainly use another veteran bullpen arm or two and there are plenty of good options available that can be had for pretty cheap — even if they just bring back Mark Melancon and Shane Greene.
But right now the top guys in the bullpen are A.J. Minter, Tyler Matzek, Chris Martin, Will Smith, and Jacob Webb.
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There is depth there with guys like Luke Jackson, Grant Dayton, Josh Tomllin, and perhaps Sean Newcomb.
However, I’d feel more comfortable replacing one of those guys with a more proven arm. And honestly, I’d like to see the Braves start targetting more power arms for the bullpen. That seems to be what has more success in the postseason.
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Right now on the bench, you have Johan Camargo, Jack Mayfield, and Abraham Almonte.
One of those spots will be taken up by a back-up catcher. I’m fine with giving that spot to Alex Jackson or William Contreras rather than throw away another $4 million on someone like Tyler Flowers — if not Flowers himself.
Last season the bench really didn’t matter with the DH. But if we’re planning on there not being a DH in the NL this season, then that bench isn’t going to get it done.
Quite frankly, the depth of this team from an offensive standpoint scares me a great deal. Especially considering there are already a couple of holes in the lineup.
We’ve seen how important depth can be for a team like the Dodgers over the years who have been able to call players off the bench and get great results.
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NEXT: Is this Realmuto?
It’s cliche to say, but it really does take a roster of 26 players that you can depend on in order to win a World Series. The Braves aren’t close to that right now. Alex Anthopoulos has a lot of work to do between now and Opening Day.
The hope would be Benintendi could return to his 2018 form where he hit .290/.366/.465 with 16 HRs, 103 Rs, 87 RBIs, 21 SBs, and a 122 wrc+.
Defensively, Benintendi is not the best but could be serviceable in left alongside Pache and Acuña. For his career, he has a positive UZR and DRS while playing out in left field. However, statcast has him with a negative OAA (Outs Above Average) for his career.
Looking deeper into his defensive abilities, Benintendi’s jump, burst, and reaction are graded negatively in the outfield. He does make up for it by taking an above-average route to the ball.
With an elite defensive center fielder like Cristian Pache next to him, Benintendi should be fine defensively.
What Would Atlanta Offer?
If Atlanta were to be interested in acquiring Benintendi, what should they consider offering?
Well, according to most reports, the Red Sox would be looking for pitching and outfield prospects in return for Andrew Benintendi. The Braves would most likely not want to pay too much for Benintendi coming off an injury and a couple of down years.
A package of Freddy Tarnok, Greyson Jenista, and Sean Newcomb for Andrew Benintendi could make some sense. The Red Sox would get decent prospects in Tarnok and Jenista while also taking a flyer on a former top pitching prospect in Sean Newcomb.
Should the Braves consider trading for Benintendi though? Even if he bounces back close to his 2018 form, he does not fill the middle of the order void left by Marcell Ozuna.
Benintendi would be an interesting addition if the NL still has the Designated Hitter in 2021. He could play left field, while someone like Marcell Ozuna or Nelson Cruz played DH and hit in the middle of the order.
A big bat hitting somewhere from 3rd to 5th in the lineup, with Benintendi (hopefully in 2018 form) hitting around 6th or 7th could create one of the deeper lineups in baseball.
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Benintendi is an interesting name to keep an eye on, especially if the Red Sox are willing to trade him. If the Braves were to add Benintendi, and another big bat this off-season, they could be on their way to another deep run in 2021.