Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

Andrew Benintendi of the Chicago White Sox celebrates with teammates during a game. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

In case you needed another reason to be angry as a Boston sports fan right now … the Boston Red Sox have quietly made an already-bad Andrew Benintendi trade even worse.

You might’ve missed the move, because it technically happened in the minor leagues. But it only underlines the reality that Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom got almost nothing out of trading Benintendi, and doing it when his value was arguably never going to be higher.

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  • The transaction we’re referring to is the release of outfielder Freddy Valdez, who was cut by the Florida Complex League (FCL) Red Sox last Sunday. Valdez originally came over to the Red Sox’ system as one of the players to be named later in the Benintendi deal back in 2021.

    This story isn’t necessarily about Valdez, in particular. He’s borderline to even be a major league-caliber prospect. He most recently batted just .192 with a .574 OPS in 22 games for the FCL Red Sox in 2022. The problem is what Valdez’s release represents.

  • Jul 4, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Andrew Benintendi (16) runs to first base on a single during the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

    Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Red Sox have long moved on from what seemed to be THE key piece in the Benintendi trade in outfielder Franchy Cordero, who stinks. He’s now a Yankee and, after a hot start, is now batting .151 with a .578 OPS through 18 games in pinstripes, and was demoted to Triple-A earlier this month.

    Remaining on the team from the Benintendi trade is reliever Josh Winckowski, who thankfully appears to be turning into a win for Bloom. Winckowski is 2-0 with a 2.23 ERA and 0.99 WHIP through 18 appearances for the Red Sox in 2023, so far. They also still have left-handed pitcher Grant Gambrell and righty Luis de la Rosa, so there’s possibly still hope there.

    However, the Red Sox are in danger of Wickowski being the only worthwhile piece to come out of the Benintendi trade. And that’s tough to swallow, because at the time of the trade, Benintendi was a 26-year-old coming off three straight seasons of double-digit homers and steals, with Gold Glove-caliber defense to match. Bloom didn’t even come close to maximizing Benintendi’s value.

  • And this isn’t to say the Red Sox moved on from a great player when they shouldn’t have, which you could argue with Mookie Betts or Xander Bogaerts. Benintendi is now on his third team in as many seasons and continues to regress on the field, so perhaps the idea to move on from him wasn’t the worst. It’s just that return. So bad. And it keeps getting worse.

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    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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