The Red Sox have absolutely had trade talks involving Andrew Benintendi. That doesn't mean they are going to trade him.
With the initial reports of Benintendi's availability now more than a week old, many are wondering what is the end-game when it comes to the 26-year-old outfielder.
This is what we know after talking with sources familiar with negotiations:
- The Red Sox willingness to include Benintendi in a deal has been very real.
- The perception from teams talking with the Red Sox is that they are willing to hold on to Benintendi if the desired value isn't coming back. There have been plenty of back-and-forths between interested parties and Chaim Bloom, with the Red Sox' chief decision-maker holding firm when it comes to the level of return. In other words, it isn't out of the question that the former first-rounder stays put.
- The asking from at least one of the teams involved is a younger corner outfielder along with a minor-league pitcher not necessarily on the 40-man roster. The belief is that Bloom's motivation isn't all that dissimilar to what we saw with some of his moves in Tampa Bay, dealing more experienced players (Benintendi has two more years before free agency) for the upside and contractual control of a younger player at the position.
- Some years the $6.6 million owed Benintendi might not seem like much, but with the current economic climate some teams look at the price tag as reason to sweeten the pot when it comes the players sent to Boston.
- Teams seem more focused on Benintendi's ups and downs of 2019 rather than the small sample size of his 14-game 2020 season (in which he went just 4-for-39 before shutting things down due to a rib injury).
- While numerous teams have reported to have interest in Benintendi, two clubs that had previously been linked to the outfielder -- Texas and Philadelphia -- are not in the mix. Benintendi's hometown team the Reds, who have had interest in the Cincinnati native in previous years, haven't been one of the involved parties this time around.