Andrew Benintendi joins New York Yankees, ready to compete for former rival

NEW YORK — Hours after flying cross-country on the Kansas City Royals’ constitution and checking into their resort Wednesday evening, outfielder Andrew Benintendi was summoned by his now-former supervisor, Mike Matheny.

Benintendi was being traded. But, Matheny instructed him, he would not have to depart his resort room. New York was about to be his residence.

A day after being swapped out of Kansas City for a trio of New York Yankees prospects, Benintendi spoke to reporters at Yankee Stadium on Thursday. After strolling into the ballpark’s residence clubhouse for the primary time, Benintendi took half in a 10-minute information convention. The former Royals and Boston Red Sox standout reiterated his pleasure for placing on pinstripes and taking part in for a staff he as soon as thought of a rival.

“Playing in Boston has ready me for this ambiance and clearly I’ve performed a variety of video games right here,” Benintendi mentioned. “So I’m trying ahead to getting again on the market and taking part in on the opposite facet.”

Benintendi was already within the Yankees’ lineup Thursday and led off in opposition to the staff that traded him.

“Definitely it is a bizarre scenario,” Benintendi mentioned. “I’m clearly going to keep involved with these guys nonetheless, as I did with my Red Sox teammates from the previous.”

Rumors relating to a possible trade-deadline transfer for Benintendi had swirled across the main leagues for weeks. At one level, the Yankees have been thought to be a non-contender within the sweepstakes for the 28-year-old due to his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine.

Benintendi had beforehand mentioned he was in opposition to receiving the vaccine, and he stays unvaccinated.

Each season, the Yankees have common journeys to division-rival Toronto, the place a vaccine mandate stays in place. Canada requires all folks touring into the nation to be absolutely vaccinated in opposition to the virus.

On Thursday, Benintendi mentioned he was “open-minded” about receiving the vaccine. The Yankees have another journey to Toronto this season, Sept. 26-28

“I’m not in opposition to it, however time will inform as we get nearer,” Benintendi mentioned. “But for now I’m simply centered on getting comfy with the opposite guys and successful baseball.”

Yankees supervisor Aaron Boone mentioned the entrance workplace has not but had a dialog with Benintendi about getting vaccinated, including that the staff will “cross that bridge if and when we now have to.”

During his 5 seasons in Boston, Benintendi reached the postseason thrice. In 2018, the Red Sox gained the World Series, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit .333 (6-for-18) in that sequence and was a catalyst for Boston’s offense.

“I believe it issues,” Boone mentioned. “He’s been there and finished that. He’s now sort of a veteran participant so I’m trying ahead to him being a part of that room. He’s actually into the sport, actually into baseball, and looking out ahead to him having the ability to get within the combine and share his experiences.

“The man that we will look to and have a variety of confidence in no matter sort of scenario we’re in. We really feel like he’ll be geared up to deal with that.”

Boone believes Benintendi’s presence could make the complete staff extra versatile. The speedy lefty can hit on the prime of the order, or seem deeper within the lineup. He additionally offers the Yankees an extra choice within the outfield, the place accidents and inconsistent play have pressured the staff to shuffle its depth chart just lately.

With Benintendi anticipated to spend the majority of his time in left subject, New York can shuffle Aaron Hicks — who has been largely taking part in the place in latest weeks — again to heart subject once in a while, and transfer Aaron Judge again right into a extra common right-field position.

“Honestly, it will be a enjoyable recreation to play as soon as we get everybody again, hopefully,” Boone mentioned of crafting his lineup.

The power-hitting Giancarlo Stanton is at the moment on the 10-day injured checklist with left Achilles tendinitis.

After Benintendi realized from Matheny late Wednesday that he was being traded, the outfielder stayed in his Royals resort room and performed playing cards with a few of his teammates from the previous one and a half seasons.

He has but to filter out of the resort, however is working by way of his future lodging preparations. When his previous Kansas City teammates boarded buses to head to Yankee Stadium on Thursday afternoon, Benintendi had to discover alternate transportation to the Bronx.

“It’s undoubtedly a bizarre scenario however it’s what it’s,” Benintendi mentioned. “In the tip you have acquired a job to do and I’m excited to get began.”

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