Trade for Andrew Benintendi
In 2018, Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi seemed poised to become one of baseball’s best young stars. However, he then regressed with a mediocre 2019 and played just 14 games in an injury-shortened 2020.
Benintendi will turn 27 in July. 2022 will be his final season with arbitration eligibility. Depending on his 2021 performance, it is conceivable that after the season whatever team he is on (more on that below) may do anything from offering an extension or to non-tendering him.
Benintendi’s situation is quite fascinating. Once baseball’s number one prospect, many around the game now expect Benintendi to be dealt prior to the start of this season.
Obviously, Benintendi has not been traded yet, shocking the aforementioned “rival executive.” Still, it seems inevitable that Benintendi will be moved before Opening Day.
The situation is fluid but for now, Benintendi remains an intriguing trade target should the Mets need to replace Conforto.
He is the youngest player on this list and unlike Rosario and Castellanos would not require a long-term contract right away.
Benintendi also has the most upside of maybe every realistic Conforto replacement option. He is a left-handed contact hitter that has a demonstrated ability to read the strike zone and consistently get on base. At his best, he profiles very similarly to Conforto.
Benintendi will need a significant bounce-back season to be considered a legitimate replacement option. It is also unclear where he will be playing in 2021 and what his potential new team’s long term plans may involve.
A lot will have to go right for Benintendi but the potential for a lot of production exists. If Conforto does not re-sign with the Mets, it will be interesting to see where Benintendi stands after this season.
If he returns to the player he was in 2018, fans should be very excited to see Benintendi in a Mets uniform.
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Of course, a Conforto extension would bring the most excitement to the fanbase.