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Could Andrew Benintendi be On His Way to Cleveland?

It’s no secret that the Boston Red Sox have been bad this year. Yesterday, they became the first team in the MLB to 20 losses. Not ideal, especially considering Boston’s front office was emphatic in the fact they were ready to compete in 2020 during this past offseason.

The reasoning behind Boston’s struggles have been very apparent. The offense hasn’t played to their potential, and the pitching staff (other than Martin Perez and Nathan Eovaldi) has been a hot mess.

With everything seemingly going the wrong direction for the Sox, they have already started selling off pieces of the roster. And with the trade deadline exactly one week away, fans should expect more dominoes to fall. But could one of those dominoes be outfielder Andrew Benintendi? It sounds possible to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Rosenthal proposes the idea of a trade of the 2018 World Series champ to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for one of their problematic starters (Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac).

As it is noted, the more likely of the two pitchers to be traded would be Clevinger. He only has two years of control left compared to Plesac’s five. For a team like Cleveland that doesn’t shell out money left and right, that’s a big deal.

With all that being said, would a straight-up deal of Benintendi for Clevinger work?

On the surface, this imaginary deal would work for both sides. The Indians rank dead last in outfield OPS, and -as I mentioned- Boston’s rotation is nothing to write home about.

At the same time, Benintendi is both hurt and not producing, while the Indians are in the middle of a playoff push. So it doesn’t really make sense that the tribe would give up a starter that has posted a sub 3.20 ERA the past three years for a slumping outfielder.

Standard Pitching
Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W Awards
2018 27 CLE AL 13 8 .619 3.02 32 32 0 1 1 0 200.0 164 71 67 21 67 0 207 4 0 4 810 143 3.52 1.155 7.4 0.9 3.0 9.3 3.09
2019 28 CLE AL 13 4 .765 2.71 21 21 0 0 0 0 126.0 96 38 38 10 37 0 169 2 0 0 499 176 2.49 1.056 6.9 0.7 2.6 12.1 4.57
2020 29 CLE AL 1 1 .500 3.24 3 3 0 0 0 0 16.2 12 6 6 4 10 0 15 0 0 0 68 144 6.26 1.320 6.5 2.2 5.4 8.1 1.50
5 Yrs 42 22 .656 3.20 100 87 4 1 1 0 517.1 414 192 184 56 203 2 578 9 0 9 2112 141 3.57 1.193 7.2 1.0 3.5 10.1 2.85
162 Game Avg. 15 8 .656 3.20 36 32 1 0 0 0 188 151 70 67 20 74 1 210 3 0 3 768 141 3.57 1.193 7.2 1.0 3.5 10.1 2.85

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/24/2020.

On the other hand, Indians prospect Triston McKenzie impressed in his first career start and the re-integration of Clevinger / Plesac into the clubhouse may not go very smoothly.

So is it possible? Of course, but it isn’t likely due to Benny’s injury. But could the chances be better if the Sox included, say, Kevin Pillar?

The Indians would be able to upgrade their outfield for this year with Pillar (.793 OPS), as well as the future with Benintendi. At the same time they will be getting rid of a pitcher that has caused a divide within the organization.

On Boston’s side of things, they would be able to add an all-star caliber pitcher to a rotation looking to bounce back in 2021. Clevinger along with Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, and (potentially) Martin Perez would be nothing to laugh at.

This trade may be imaginary right now, but this looks like a win-win to me. What do you think? Leave a comment below!

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– Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)

Featured image courtesy of Twitter / @WEEI

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