The Miami Marlins are one of the teams that have been engaged with the Red Sox in trade talks involving outfielder Andrew Benintendi, according to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden.
The two sides have not been able to reach an agreement to this point, though, and other teams have also been involved.
Bowden was the first to report on Saturday that the Red Sox “have been in serious trade talks with multiple teams” regarding Benintendi, citing that Boston was “looking for prospect(s) type return with [an] emphasis on pitchers and outfielders.”
Benintendi, who is coming off a disastrous 2020 season (.442 OPS over 52 PAs) in which he was limited to just 14 games due to a right rib cage strain, is under team control for two more years and can become eligible for free agency at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign.
The 26-year-old is slated to earn $6.6 million in the second year of a two-year, $10 million extension he signed with Boston last February. 2022 would serve as his third and final season of arbitration eligibility.
The Marlins, meanwhile, are coming off a year in which their outfielders ranked 12th in the National League in wRC+ (86) and 14th in fWAR (0.3), so it would appear that they are attempting to upgrade their outfield corps.
On that note, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported earlier this month that Miami is looking for a “corner outfielder, preferably a right fielder and left-handed hitter.”
Though Heyman did not specify if the Marlins were looking for this particular player via trade or free agency, Benintendi certainly fits that mold seeing how he is a corner outfielder who hits from the left side of the plate.
Of course, the former first-round draft pick has never played an inning in right field as a professional, but he did log some time there during his freshman season at the University of Arkansas.
As for who the Marlins would give up in this potential trade, that much is unclear, and it’s likely to remain that way seeing how Boston and Miami “have not been able to agree on a return” yet.
Given the knowledge we have of this ongoing situation, the Sox and Fish could just be in the opening stages of trade talks here.
As a matter of fact, The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier wrote on Sunday that “[one] major league source characterized the Red Sox’ conversations about Benintendi as ‘due diligence’ and ‘nothing out of the ordinary,’ at a time when teams often gauge the value of virtually all of their players.”
That much is understandable, especially at a point in time where Benintendi’s trade value is presumably at an all-time low on account of how much he has underperformed these past two seasons.
2021 could prove to be a ‘revenge tour’ of sorts for the Cincinnati native, so the Red Sox may want to hold on to Benintendi for a little longer at the risk of dealing him and potentially seeing him thrive with a new organization given his track record.
At the moment, per Speier, Benintendi has been working out in Nashville, and he was scheduled to meet with Red Sox hitting coach Tim Hyers on Monday.
(Picture of Andrew Benintendi: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)