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Andrew Benintendi Gives The Yankees What They Need

The New York Yankees may be an unstoppable death star now.

The stove is finally hot the week of the trade deadline. Wednesday night the Yankees lost the 'freeway series' by losing two straight to the New York Mets. As this was happening, so was the biggest trade of the trade deadline.

Before I get to the baseball part of this, let me point out something that is bothering me (and others) about this. Within hours of this trade, it was reported that Benintendi now plans on getting vaccinated (for COVID-19) although he refused to get it before. The implication is that now he's on a contender, he's willing to make that 'sacrifice.'

That is so lame. It's chicken. Getting vaccinated against COVID isn't just a "personal decision" the way people pretend it is. It protects those around you and...do I really have to do this? Anyway, it just stinks that Benintendi is clearly willing to do so now. Anyway. The baseball ramifications.

Contact Contract

Here's what Benintendi brings to the Yankees. He's slashing .320/.387/.398. The contact skills (especially in a down year for offense across the board) here are immense. I realize batting average is an unpopular statistic in the days of analytics—but it's cool to see a guy hitting over .300 these days. Benintendi's slugging percentage is brutally low this season, but in the past, his career high in home runs is 20, so it's not like he's a player completely without power. Plus, he's also now going to be a lefty in Yankee Stadium with its notoriously short porched walls. He's likely to hit a few more dingers. His overall OPS+ is 123 which is pretty good for a player who only has three home runs. His value as a contact hitter helps a Yankees team who has only maybe one hole in it...

Yankees Mash, Need More Slash

The Yankees slug. They lead MLB in home runs and slugging percentage. They're tied in first for overall OPS. They're 15th, or middle of the road, in overall batting average. Some of this is that it's nearly impossible to slug AND hit for average. That's just how the world works. A lot of that also is because the Yankees have a lot of guys who "mash or whiff." Case in point, Joey Gallo.

Gallo has 12 home runs, which isn't bad. Gallo is also hitting .161 with 103 strikeouts. Benintendi has 53 strikeouts, nearly half the amount of Gallo's. The 12 home runs don't mitigate Gallo's strikeout rate. Benintendi is literally the "Anti-Gallo." Please never make me type that phrase again.

Benintendi gives the Yankees exactly what their lineup needs. If you don't hit much for average, Benintendi is perfect. Benintendi isn't just a guy who hits for average and never walks, either. His overall OBP is .387 which is upper-echelon.

Rich Get Richer

The Yankees did have to give up some good prospects for Benintendi, but their farm system isn't exactly depleted from this deal. There's absolutely no way they are done at this deadline. Whether it's targeting Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds or more bullpen help, the Yankees have the cash and overall roster to make another big move before this trade deadline is over.