andrew benintendi
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve been talking a lot recently about the Yankees and their need for a left fielder. Oswaldo Cabrera and Aaron Hicks are already on the roster, and Brian Cashman has added Billy McKinney, Willie Calhoun, and Rafael Ortega in recent days. Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds also appears to remain a top trade target.

This was all put into motion once Andrew Benintendi signed with the Chicago White Sox for five years and $75 million. During his introductory press conference, it seems like Benintendi took an indirect shot at his former club.

The Yankees were reportedly interested in bringing back their trade-deadline acquisition. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, though, Benintendi’s desire to return was apparently a question. It seems like he didn’t exactly feel the love from New York upon reaching free agency (quite via MLB.com):

It’s fun to be part of something where you’re desired, where you’re wanted. I’m looking forward to getting to know some guys, build relationships and get this thing going. From Day 1 in the offseason, there was communication. There was constant interest throughout the entire process. I was talking about it with Petey [Grifol], [general manager] Rick [Hahn] and the rest of the front office. It’s good to be with a team that wanted me from Day 1.

Considering the Yankees were focused on re-signing Aaron Judge and reeling in Carlos Rodon, it’s not shocking that Benintendi may have been on the back burner. He would’ve most certainly been an asset to New York if he returned, but let’s be honest… he’s not moving the needle as much as Judge or Rodon will.

Andrew Benintendi played in just 33 games for the Yankees prior to hitting the injured list. He accumulated 0.8 fWAR during that time while hitting .254/.331/.404 with two home runs, 12 RBI, and 14 runs scored in 131 plate appearances.

Maybe the above statement was meant for the Yankees, or maybe not. Based on what we knew about New York’s reported desire to re-sign him, it certainly seems like it was. But at this point, it’s an “OK, oh well” kind of thing. New York got the two big free agents it truly desired. There’s still a rather significant question in left field. However, there’s enough time this winter to try and figure out an alternative.

Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.