The trade deadline is now just over a week away, and while the dam hasn’t broken on the trade market yet and many of the top candidates still have yet to be dealt, rumors are flying around like crazy. Teams are calling about Shohei Ohtani, a possible frontrunner may have emerged in the Juan Soto sweepstakes, and perhaps most importantly for the Houston Astros, talks are also heating up for Andrew Benintendi.
Benintendi has been talked about as a potential trade piece for a while now. Simply put, he’s the best outfielder about to hit free agency that plays for a bad team. It seems like a great fit for the Astros in the sense that his primary position is left field, and Michael Brantley, who normally alternates between left field and DH, has been hurt for over a month and still doesn’t have a set timetable for a return. In Brantley’s absence, left field has been a revolving door for Houston – Aledmys Diaz, Chas McCormick, and Yordan Alvarez have seen time at the position over the course of July. However, Diaz is a natural bench bat, McCormick has only hit well against lefties, and Alvarez has had to DH more in light of his recent hand injury. Trading for Benintendi would provide a solution there for the rest of the season.
The problem is, the Yankees have reportedly emerged as the lead suitor in trade talks, as per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. It’s easy to see why – the Yankees have a greater number of high-profile prospects to use in trades, and if the reports are true, it might make sense for Houston not to overstep in a bidding war for someone they might not even be able to re-sign. After all, there’s always the option of trading for an alternative to Benintendi, and it just so happens that there are plenty (in no order; click the “next” button at the top to start slideshow).