3 Outfielders to Target if Andrew Benintendi Goes Elsewhere
Michael A. Taylor, CF (Royals)
If the Yankees or some other team were to acquire Benintendi, it might serve the Astros to pursue a teammate of his. He’s making just $4.5M this year and next, due to hit free agency following 2023, and he’s another candidate to provide some stability in center field. In his first year with the Royals, he did not hit whatsoever, with a wRC+ of 77. This season, though, he has been a serviceable offensive player, as he has bumped that mark up to 113. He hasn’t shown it as much this season with an even 0 Statcast outs above average, but he is an uber-talented defender, proved by his 15 outs above average that nearly led all of baseball in 2021.
He’s also an above-average runner, sitting in the 85th percentile in terms of sprint speed, though he has only attempted 2 steals for some reason in 2022. He stole 14 bags a season ago, so the ability is certainly there. While he hasn’t necessarily lined up his best play on the offensive side of the ball with his best defense, getting a center fielder who can do both for that low of a cost could end up being a huge value play for the Astros.
Between Benintendi and the other 2 options presented thus far, Taylor has the least amount of demand on the trade market at this moment, but his skillset opens up the possibility that he could be a wise, low-risk investment that has shown the ability to play the corner positions in the past to go along with center field. With Taylor, Reynolds, and Happ, the Astros have the option to play it safe, go bold, or a mix of both in the event that they lose out on the Andrew Benintendi sweepstakes. The beautiful thing about having flexibility on the trade market is that any of those options would get them closer to another World Series ring.