New York Yankees need to keep Andrew Benintendi beyond this year

Aug 30, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Andrew Benintendi (18) follows through on a solo home run in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 30, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Andrew Benintendi (18) follows through on a solo home run in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Such is the case with the New York Yankees and Andrew Benintendi.

He was supposed to be the missing piece to their lineup, a contact hitter who would solidify left field and be a presence at the top of the Yankees lineup. While he started slowly in New York, he eventually became exactly that, posting a 109 OPS+ with 12 extra base hits in his 131 plate appearances. He drew walks, made contact, and helped make the lineup that much deeper.

New York Yankees need to find a way to keep Andrew Benintendi

The injuries struck. Benintendi required surgery in early September to repair a fractured hamate bone in his right wrist. While he had been working out in live at bats at the Yankees’ Florida complex, he also required an injection in his wrist. He has not been a part of their postseason run and it is questionable if he would be available should they reach the World Series.

His absence has also been notable as it pertains to the Yankees’ lineup. They have been too reliant upon the home run in order to score, failing to do much if Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, and/or Giancarlo Stanton struggle. That has been clear in the postseason as they have scored just 24 runs in seven games entering Saturday.

The 2023 season could be even worse. Judge is slated to be a free agent once this season comes to an end. Rizzo has an opt-out clause that would make sense to exercise. There are holes throughout the lineup even with that duo in town. Should they leave, and Benintendi also takes off for greener pastures, the Yankees lineup issues will be even more pronounced.

Benintendi is not going to generate the same amount of interest that other free agents on the Yankees will. Judge is going to dominate the headlines, as will any perceived lack of effort from the front office and ownership to improve the roster. However, if the Yankees are serious about improving the roster for 2023, part of the equation has to involve bringing Benintendi back.

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Andrew Benintendi is the exact type of player the New York Yankees need in their lineup. They have to find a way to bring him back for 2023.