The Boston Red Sox avoided arbitration with 25-year-old outfielder Andrew Benintendi by signing him to a two-year deal worth $10M.
The Boston Red Sox avoided arbitration with 25-year-old Andrew Benintendi by signing him to a two-year deal worth 10 million dollars. With the media spotlight turned to the back and forth Mookie Betts trade fiasco the Red Sox made a savvy deal with one of their rising stars.
Benintendi will only be paid 3.4 million this year, and the remaining salary of 6.6 million will be paid over the course of the 2021 season.
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Yes, it was already guaranteed that Benintendi would don a Boston uniform in 2020, but by signing him to a two-year deal they won’t have to deal with arbitration again until after the 2021 season. 2021 is the final year of Red Sox control over Benintendi before he is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.
If Benintendi performs more like he did in the 2018 campaign then the 2019 one, this might look like a brilliant move. Best case scenario they just saved millions of dollars. With Betts out of town, you can be sure that Benintendi will be given the chance to shine in the Fenway outfield.
Worst case scenario for Boston he plays just like he did last year, and he gets relegated to the team’s fourth outfield spot if the recently acquired Alex Verdugo performs well. Even if that’s the case an average salary of 5 million dollars for an above-average fourth outfielder isn’t a bad deal.
Last year with the Dodgers Verdugo played in 106 games and had a .294 batting average. If he can keep those numbers up in 2020, he’s going to push Benintendi for playing time.
Signing Benintendi to a two-year deal is a low risk/high reward move for the Boston Red Sox.
It might not dominate the headlines like the recent Betts trade, but deals like this are what build successful franchises year after year.