It appears that we finally have a complete deal. In the evening of June 4th, Chad Jennings and Julian McWilliams reported the rest of the Andrew Benintendi trade. These players will act as the three players to be named later from Kansas City and New York. According to these reports, Kansas City will send pitchers Grant Gambrell and Luis De La Rosa and outfielder Freddy Valdez from the New York Mets. This is in addition to outfielder Franchy Cordero, and pitcher Josh Winckowski received earlier.
Let’s view the return.
Franchy Cordero is the only piece of this deal that has joined the Red Sox roster. In fact, he is the only piece with any MLB experience. The first three years of Cordero’s major league career, age 22 to 24, were spent bouncing between the MLB and AAA with the San Diego Padres. In his best season with the Padres, 2019, he slashed .330/.400/.450 with a 134 OPS+ in 40 games. He then got dealt to the Kansas City Royals, where he played 16 games in 2020.
During his time on the Red Sox, he played .179/.228/.274 with a 39 OPS+ in 34 games before being demoted. With that said, his lone home run was the hardest hit in the majors this season, 118.6 mph. Cordero could also flash a cannon in left field, which made up for his defensive deficiencies. He has raw skills but ultimately cannot play to the level of other bench players like Danny Santana and even Michael Chavis.
Josh Winckowski is the first pitching prospect received by Boston. The Toronto Blue Jays drafted Winckowski in the 15th round of the 2016 Amateur Draft. He was then sent to the Mets in the deal, which sent Steven Matz to Toronto and turned around for Khalil Lee from Kansas City. Since he turned 20, this right-hander has found success at every level. He has a 3.17 career ERA and currently holds a 1.33 ERA and 8.7 SO/9 in AA Portland.
This prospect has rightfully gained a lot of respect and expectations since Boston got their hands on him. Whether he plays in for the Red Sox or not, you can expect to see him find some level of success for a major league team, no matter how long.
Seeing as Grant Gambrell has yet to play above Class A, he won’t be along for some time; however, he’s an intriguing pickup nonetheless. Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs ranked him 21st among the top prospects in Kansas City. During his collegiate career at the PAC-12’s Oregon State, he played three seasons and won 11 games. During this time, he had a 3.47 ERA and a 2.83 ERA with 10.3 SO/9 in 70 innings his junior year. This was enough to get drafted in the third round back in 2019.
His minor league career, however, has not been without its flaws. He currently has a 5.67 ERA and 8.3 SO/9 in his minor league career. The best the Red Sox can hope for is his command to improve to a point where it can back up his top pitch, the curveball.
At 18 years of age, Luis De La Rosa is the least known member of the Andrew Benintendi trade. You’ll be hard-pressed to find him anywhere on a Royals top prospects list, but that does not hinder him from destroying his competition. At age 16, De La Rosa pitched 38 innings in the Dominican Summer League. During this time, he had a 2.33 ERA and struck out 52 batters while only walking 7.
Based on most scouting, he could become a mid-tier player for Boston by sometime close to 2025. This, however, runs contrary to the numbers laid before you. Time will tell with this young right-hander.
Freddy Valdez has the most potential among any of the players received in the Benintendi trade. Valdez is a 19-year-old signed out of the Dominican Republic. Playing right field, Valdez reached the Gulf Coast League and had a .814 OPS and 6 home runs in 60 games. Fangraphs scouting gives him an above-average power grade, but he was ranked among the top 30 Mets prospects and likened to Cleveland Indian Franmil Reyes from a physical perspective by Longenhagen.
There are many questions to be answered when you acquire this many young prospects, but that normally means a lot of upside. Regardless of what Andrew Benintendi does, Sox fans should be happy with this return.