These Yankees know what Andrew Benintendi is going through


Clay Holmes woke up in his Pittsburgh apartment on the morning of July 26 last year and joked with his wife.

“Man, wouldn’t it be crazy if we had to pack this whole place in one day?” He told him.

“Indeed, a few hours later, that’s what we were doing,” Holmes said.

The next morning, the reliever flew to Florida to join the Yankees, who were playing in Tampa Bay and had acquired him in a trade from the Pirates. Two days later, Holmes made his debut and began a more than two-month sprint to the finish line of an elimination race.

Such is the lifespan of an MLB trade time frame acquisition.

Andrew Benintendi is the latest Yankees clubhouse player to experience the whirlwind, and by the trade deadline on Tuesday, there are likely to be more who face uprooting their lives in a city, quickly moving to another and immediately play in high stakes. games for the rest of the season.

André Benintendi
Jason Szenes

“It’s pretty ruthless,” Anthony Rizzo, who landed with the Yankees in a trade from the Cubs a day before the deadline last year, said Friday. “I was traded two days ago, I’m playing the next day. So you don’t have time to pack. Guys are going to be traded next week who are on long road trips who have nothing [with them]. But you maneuver around it. It seems like it still works.

Both Holmes and Rizzo said they relied on their wives to take care of packing and logistics at home, which helped them focus more on baseball.

In Holmes’ case, he was able to separate the chaos on and off the pitch to lean into his craft.

“It can definitely be quite hectic,” Holmes said. “Different people take it in different ways, but for me it really made me focus on when I was doing my job, you had to make sure you locked it in. Off the pitch you wonder where you’re going to stay , short-term housing, there’s a lot going on. But when you get on the pitch, some guys just help lock you in. It can be especially energizing coming to a team that’s in a pennant race and looking to win a World Series.

Holmes said it took him two to three weeks after the trade to feel good. Rizzo said he didn’t feel completely settled until this year, after re-signing with the Yankees in the offseason.

“It’s been two months of new friendships and new teammates,” Rizzo said. “You usually have six weeks in spring training to meet your new teammates. In six weeks, there are only two weeks left in the regular season. But I think the group we have will make it much easier [help him] feel as comfortable as possible as quickly as possible.

Andrew Benintendi (left) sits in the dugout with Joey Gallo, who was also a trade deadline acquisition from the Yankees last season.
Andrew Benintendi (left) sits in the dugout with Joey Gallo, who was also a trade deadline acquisition from the Yankees last season.
Jason Szenes

Rizzo said this year should be slightly different for newcomers, as the Yankees entered Friday with an 11½-game lead in the AL East instead of chasing a playoff berth, as they were. Last year.

Still, the pressure will be on Benintendi to fit in perfectly on the fly, while balancing his performance on the pitch with his settling in a new city and surrounding area.

“You get cozy somewhere for a while and then it’s all uprooted,” Rizzo said. “You are supposed to be inserted in a new place and continue – it [was] hitting .320 in Kansas City. Just enter and [you’re] should do this when the only thing that’s the same is the game. Everything else is different.

It’s a sentiment their manager can relate to, 19 years after Aaron Boone was traded from the Reds to the Yankees at the deadline.

“I try to be a sounding board or to share my experiences,” Boone said. “There’s real life and finding a place to live and introduce yourself to people and what punch group am I in? All those routine things you take for granted.

New York Post

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