It’s only mid-May, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early for potential July trade rumors. The Brewers have already been connected to a potential upgrade to their lineup.
For a long time, Brewers fans have been clamoring for more upgrades among the position player group. The offense has been lackluster in recent years and could always use a boost. Though Milwaukee has found success early on this season, there’s still the need for more consistency in the offense.
It’s never too early to start thinking about trades. Last year, the Brewers acquired Willy Adames on May 22nd and that changed everything with this team. Although we shouldn’t anticipate another trade this early in the season like that, the rumors have begun.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote in his latest notes column of a potential trade deadline fit for Milwaukee.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Kansas City Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi is a potential trade deadline fit for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Rosenthal states that Andrew Benintendi “could be an interesting fit for teams seeking a left-handed bat — the Mets and Brewers are two such possibilities.”
Benintendi, 27, is a left fielder, the position currently occupied by 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich. Benintendi has experience in center but he hasn’t played there since 2019. Center field is the position the Brewers could arguably use an offensive upgrade with both Lorenzo Cain and Tyrone Taylor struggling offensively.
However, Benintendi is a great defender in left field. He won a Gold Glove last season, which makes him a far superior defender to Yelich. If Milwaukee brings in Benintendi, he could play left field against righties, pushing Yelich to DH, and leaving Andrew McCutchen to be in a semi-platoon at DH only facing lefties.
That plan would optimize the Brewers defensive lineup with Benintendi in left field most of the time, have McCutchen face the pitchers he was primarily signed to face, and the DH allows Yelich to stay in the lineup at all times. Benintendi being a left-handed bat adds even more value to the Brewers and how they can best line up their hitters for any given game.
Benintendi is a free agent after the season, so there would be no long-term commitment for the Brewers if they do trade for him.
Currently this season, Benintendi is hitting .314 with a .368 OBP and a 123 OPS+. He only has one home run so far but hit 17 last year and has a career high of 20 home runs in a season.
Benintendi’s on-base skills and defensive ability would be a huge boost to the Brewers and he brings a wealth of postseason experience, including a World Series win in 2018 with Boston. He has a career .272/.322/.407 slash line in the postseason.
The Brewers have no shortage of outfielders, so trading for another outfielder at the deadline may not make much sense at first glance. But as you can see, when we dig deeper, a move like this would make a lot of sense and it sounds like something David Stearns would do.
Because he’s a rental that will become a free agent at season’s end, the prospect cost to acquire Benintendi will be lower and the Brewers don’t have to worry about his long-term fit on the roster. One or two mid-level prospects should be enough to get a deal done.
The Royals will not be competing for the playoffs this year and are likely sellers. We’ll see how Benintendi’s market develops as the season goes along. Keep an eye on him as Rosenthal has already connected the two sides and there’s a lot of reasons a move like this makes sense for Milwaukee.