White Sox Sign Benintendi to Five-Year, $75M Deal

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Most of MLB’s free agency has wrapped up with many of the star players already under contract for next season. However, a handful of impactful moves are still being made as the Chicago White Sox sign Andrew Benintendi to a five-year deal worth $75 million. The White Sox sign him to not only upgrade the outfield but improve the overall roster, making them one of the top teams in the American League Central Division.

Benintendi is 28 years old but has already a veteran player in the league. Along with playing seven seasons, he spent five years with the Boston Red Sox, including helping them win the World Series in 2018. In addition, he played the last two seasons with the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees, adding depth to the outfield for both rosters.

The White Sox had a disappointing 2022 season, going 81-81 and missing the postseason. However, the team went 93-69 in 2021 and won the AL Central Division. Many of the talented players that fueled the successful season remain on the roster. Benintendi is a pivotal addition to a team looking to bounce back but more importantly, make a postseason run.

Benintendi’s Impact on the White Sox Outfield

The White Sox already have multiple reliable outfielders. Luis Robert is the primary centerfielder while Gavin Sheets and AJ Pollock play the corner outfield positions. Additionally, Eloy Jimenez, arguably the best hitter in the lineup, plays the outfield in games he isn’t the designated hitter. As the White Six sign another outfielder, they are adding depth, but with Benintendi, they are upgrading the fielding element of their roster.

Benintendi won a gold glove in 2021 with the Royals and has been an elite fielder throughout his career. In his years with the Red Sox, he helped round out an outfield that boasted him, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr., which was an integral part of three American League East Division titles. Last year, he was on pace for another gold glove-caliber year but injuries at the end of the year derailed the campaign. Benintendi, along with Pollock and Robert, gives the White Sox one of the best outfields in baseball. When all three players are healthy, they give the team three players that can reliably cover a lot of ground at Guaranteed Rate Field.

At the plate, Benintendi’s power is underwhelming. His slash line last season was .304/.373/.399, and his career slash line is .279/.351/.431 with only 73 home runs and 1202 total bases. Furthermore, Benintendi was a leadoff hitter for the Red Sox and Royals but has never provided power to a lineup. However, he adds depth to the White Sox lineup. The batting order lost Jose Abreu this offseason and while they won’t replace the power, they’ll add another viable bat to the back half of the lineup.

Other Notes After White Sox Sign Benintendi

The options were limited for the White Sox, who were looking to make a strong addition this offseason. However, signing Benintendi puts a bow on a strong winter. Additionally, he adds to an already strong roster.

The White Sox are hoping that they can win the division and enter the 2023 season with arguably the most talented roster. Granted, the Cleveland Guardians won the division last year and have a young and talented team. At the same time, the White Sox have a veteran roster that doesn’t have a glaring weakness. Adding Benintendi helps turn the team into one of the better fielding teams in the league to pair along with a good pitching staff and lineup.

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Players Mentioned: Andrew Benintendi, Luis Robert, AJ Pollock, Gavin Sheets, Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Jackie Bradley Jr., Jose Abreu

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Mike Fink

Mike Fink

Mike Fink joined Sport Relay in December 2022 and covers the New York Yankees. In addition to covering the Yankees, Fink has also covered the New York Islanders since 2020 for The Hockey Writers and has been writing about sports at large. Mike also likes to travel but has found Baltimore and Chicago are the only two cities that come close to New York City.

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