Andrew Benintendi is returning to the rivalry.

The New York Yankees acquired Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for right-handed pitching prospects Beck Way and Chandler Champlain and lefty T.J. Sikkema, the teams announced Wednesday.

Benintendi will presumably join his new team on Thursday when the Yankees host Kansas City at Yankee Stadium.

The 28-year-old, a pending free agent, was the Royals’ All-Star representative earlier this month after hitting .320/.387/.398 with three homers and 39 RBIs in 93 games. His time in Kansas City also included a Gold Glove award in left field, the first of his career.

In New York, he’ll provide some additional left-handed pop and on-base abilities to the bottom of the Yankees’ order, along with solid corner outfield defense.

“He’s a really good player,” Yankees superstar Aaron Judge told reporters, according to YES Network. “… I think adding a guy like that will definitely give us a little pump-up, that’s for sure, and I think he’s gonna fit right in.”

For Benintendi, the trade marks a return to the AL East, where he broke into the league as a member of the Boston Red Sox. His five years in Beantown included a starring turn for the World Series champion Red Sox in 2018, which is still his best individual season.

Benintendi missed the Royals’ recent series in Toronto because he’s unvaccinated against COVID-19. However, he’s reportedly said he’ll now get the vaccine, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Once he’s fully vaccinated, he’ll be able to join the Yankees in Canada when they visit the Blue Jays in September.

The Blue Jays were among the teams that New York beat out to acquire Benintendi, Rosenthal reports. Other clubs that were reportedly chasing him included the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers.

Sikkema, 24, was the Yankees’ No. 19 prospect prior to the trade, per The former first-round pick owns a 2.48 ERA and 0.83 WHIP with 54 strikeouts and nine walks across 36 1/3 innings at High-A Hudson Valley this season.

Champlain, the Yankees’ ninth-round selection out of USC last year, put up a 4.30 ERA and 1.24 WHIP while averaging 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings across 16 appearances (15 starts) for Low-A Tampa. This year is his first pitching professionally.

Way, who turns 23 next month, owns a 3.73 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 80 strikeouts and 26 walks over 15 starts for Hudson Valley.

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