Reinforcements are on the way. Just a few hours after the Boston Red Sox decided not to blow up the farm at the trade deadline, the team announced that top prospect Andrew Benintendi will join the team tomorrow to face the Seattle Mariners.
BREAKING: Andrew Benintendi is to meet the Red Sox in Seattle tomorrow, the Herald has learned. https://t.co/LBI2aTrkaR
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) August 2, 2016
Red Sox Call Up Andrew Benintendi
Benintendi, the Sox number two prospect, behind only Yoan Moncada, was selected by Boston in the first round, 7th overall, in the 2015 MLB Draft. The 22-year-old rocketed his way through the Red Sox minor league system, and was tearing the cover off the ball with Double-A Portland. In sixty-three games, Benintendi hit eighteen doubles, eight home runs, five triples, and recorded a .295 batting average and a .872 OPS.
Benintendi will eventually become the everyday left fielder for the Red Sox, even if he doesn’t take over the role right away. Benintendi and guys like Moncada, Rafael Devers, and Michael Kopech are the reason the Red Sox stayed relatively quiet at the deadline. They have too much potential, and the value available on the trade market simply didn’t justify parting with any of them.
The Red Sox did trade reliever Pat Light for Fernando Abad, but made no other moves. For Boston, the trade deadline really ended in the few days following the All-Star Break, during which they brought in Aaron Hill, Brad Ziegler, Michael Martinez, and Drew Pomeranz.
The truth is that the Red Sox probably didn’t need to make any big moves at the deadline. Their offense leads the majors in most significant categories. Sure, they’ve been scuffling lately, but slumps happen. That offense is too talented to stay down for long. Benintendi, and probably Moncada before long, will provide a spark. When an organization has MLB-ready pieces like those two, a trade for a bat becomes largely unnecessary.
It’s true that many fans believed Boston should have added another pitcher, but Dave Dombrowski probably made the right move in holding off on a big trade. Getting an arm like Chris Sale, or even Jose Quintana, would have cost Boston at least one of either Benintendi or Moncada, and a few others as well. Even for a talent like Sale, that kind of price tag is hard to justify.
With the addition of Abad and the return of closer Craig Kimbrel, the bullpen looks much better than it did a couple days ago. And though the rotation has had its share of struggles this year, there’s reason to believe Boston can contend with their current staff. David Price is still up-and-down, and Pomeranz might be feeling the effects of the largest workload of his career, but either can be great on a given night.
Rick Porcello has been fantastic in the first year of his contract extension, and Eduardo Rodriguez has a sub-3.00 ERA since returning from injury and the minors. He just turned in a great start against Seattle. A change in the position of his hands when he sets to throw seems to have fixed his pitch-tipping issues. Steven Wright, who became the de facto ace in the first half, had a rough July. But patches like that happen to knuckleballers sometimes. When his knuckler dances, it can still shut down an opposing lineup.
Perhaps, when the season ends, we’ll look back and wonder why the Red Sox didn’t do more at the deadline. But instead of trading Andrew Benintendi when any team would have taken him, they decided to call him up. The Red Sox believe they can win with this team. Starting Tuesday, we’ll find out if they’re right.