Andrew Benintendi probably is going to leave an American League powerhouse this offseason, but it appears there’s a chance he joins another top club in the Junior Circuit.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale on Monday reported the Astros have had “internal discussions about the possibility of acquiring” Benintendi, one of the better outfield options on the open market this Major League Baseball offseason. Nightengale reported Houston also has held similar conversations about fellow free-agent outfielder Cody Bellinger, as well as All-Star catcher Wilson Contreras.
The reigning World Series champions have a need in left field to complete an outfield that also includes Chas McCormick and Kyle Tucker. Yordan Álvarez can hold his own in left, but the superstar slugger definitely is best served as Houston’s designated hitter. Benintendi is a solid defender — he made one of the more important postseason catches in recent memory at Minute Maid Park — and his high on-base rate would make an already potent Astros offense even better.
Despite earning an All-Star nod in a contract year, Benintendi might not be much of a financial burden either considering he’s coming off season-ending wrist surgery. Any sort of discount surely would be welcomed by the Astros, who will need to dig deep into their pockets if they want to retain 2022 AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander.