The Mets, Red Sox and Royals swung a three-team trade on Wednesday. Andrew Benintendi is the center of the deal.
Boston gets Josh Winckowski and a player to be named later from New York. Cordero and two more players to be named later come from Kansas City. The Mets land Lee, who was ranked as the Royals’ eighth-best prospect. Lee is a near-ready outfielder with obvious upside.
A Benintendi trade had been rumored earlier in the offseason. The signings of Hunter Renfroe and Kike Hernandez made such a deal easier to swallow, and Cordero gives Boston another Major League outfielder. The former Padre should see plenty of at-bats in 2021.
Royals get better
A lot of teams took a step back this offseason. The Royals dealing young players for a player who can help in 2021 is exciting. It’s a curious move, however.
Does Kansas City really believe this puts them on a par with the Twins and White Sox? Benintendi only has one year of club control after this season. With the playoffs reverting to their pre-2020 format, the Royals don’t look like contenders.
This line-up can be good. If Benintendi bounces back, Jorge Soler crushes the ball, Carlos Santana does Carlos Santana things and Whit Merrifield keeps up his high standards, the Royals can be a solid offensive team. Maybe they scrape into the wildcard mix. This is a lot to give up for where they are right now.
Red Sox stock up
Boston’s farm ranked 25th this week. Improving their prospect depth is a must for team which has quickly slumped from World Series winners to rebuilders.
Cordero is a high-upside guy. He’s as toolsy as they come. His statcast numbers light up a page like few other players in the sport. While he’s yet to have the results consistently at the Major League level, it’s easy to get excited about his potential.
The Red Sox have got a great return for a player who may not have been on their next competitive team. Cordero plus prospect depth is about as much as Boston could have expected for Benintendi.
Mets join in
The Mets have made good moves in the margins this offseason. Picking up Lee addresses an area of weakness on their farm. He also adds another medium-term option in center field, a position which has troubled the Mets in recent years.
It’s a low-profile move compared to much of the Mets offseason news, but it’s a signal that this front office is doing things right. This was a low price to pay for a prospect like Lee.