*This story will be updated as more information about the deal is reported.

According to reports from ESPN's Jeff Passan and MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the Boston Red Sox are expected to deal outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals as part of a three team deal which also involves the New York Mets.

In return, the Red Sox receive Franchy Cordero from the Royals and minor league pitching prospect Josh Winckowski from the Mets. Reports suggest Boston will receive more than two players in the deal and that the return could be as high as five players.

Cordero, 26, has appeared in 95 MLB games over the last four seasons. The left-handed hitting outfielder played 16 games last season for the Royals and hit .211 with two homeruns and seven runs batted in. The most action he's seen in a single season was in 2018 with the Padres, when Cordero appeared in 40 games and hit .237/7/19.

The move saves the Sox more than $4-million for the 2021 season, with Benintendi's outgoing salary at $5-million and Cordero's incoming deal worth $800,000 for the upcoming season.

Winckowski is a 22-year-old righty who pitched in the Blue Jays' system from 2016-19. He's started 50-of-his-54 minor league appearances and in '19 went 10-8 with a 2.69 era and 108 strikeouts in 127.1 innings pitched between A and high-A ball.

A former top-prospect, Benintendi made his Major League debut in 2016 before finishing second in the 2017 Rookie of the Year voting when he slashed .271/20/90 with 20 steals in 151 games.

"Benny" followed that season by hitting .290/16/87 and swiping 21 bags in 2018. Benintendi's production severely dropped off over the last two seasons and bottomed out during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season when he featured in just 14 games and was 4-for-39 at the plate. A rib injury ultimately ended the 26-year-old's final season in Boston.

In his career with the Sox, Benintendi hit .273 with 51 homeruns, 260 runs batted in, 502 hits and 53 stolen bases in 485 games. He also hit .272/2/9 in 21 playoff games and made several key defensive plays during Boston's 2018 world championship run.


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