Franchy Cordero, acquired by the Red Sox in the Andrew Benintendi trade, can play all three outfield positions, and with some uncertainty in how the Red Sox will configure their outfield, that versatility should be valuable. Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Since Chaim Bloom joined the Boston Red Sox in October 2019, the chief baseball officer has emphasized replenishing the organization’s farm system and talent pool, depleted by former boss Dave Dombrowski in his quest for a championship.

Less than two years later, nothing has changed, and Bloom has a handful of trades to prove he was serious.

Exactly a year after he completed one of the biggest trades in franchise history, sending Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers in a deal that brought back Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong, Bloom executed yet another swap Wednesday night, sending popular but underwhelming left fielder Andrew Benintendi to the Royals in a three-team trade that yielded Franchy Cordero, Josh Winckowski and three players to be named later.

The Red Sox believed Benintendi was poised for a bounce-back 2021 season, but with another opportunity to bolster the farm, Bloom jumped on it, getting a major league-ready outfielder in Cordero who can replace Benintendi, a 22-year-old minor-league pitcher with upside in Winckowski, and three more prospects the Red Sox will identify with more scouting.

“We know that in the long run, any organization is going to be only as good as its pipeline,” Bloom said. “That’s true no matter what your market size is. That’s true no matter what your payroll is. And that’s something we need to address.”

The main piece in Boston’s return for Benintendi is Cordero, who figures to be the only player of the five being received by the Red Sox who will make an impact in 2021.


Cordero signed with the San Diego Padres in 2011 as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic and made his MLB debut in 2017. But injuries have derailed the 26-year-old’s potential, including a wrist injury that limited him to just 16 games in last year’s pandemic-shortened season. In 95 career games, Cordero has slashed .236/.304/.433 with 12 home runs.

With three years of team control remaining and a cost of $800,000 in 2021, Cordero was worth the gamble to put it all together in Boston. He’s only 58 days younger than Benintendi but has played in 390 fewer games. Still, he’ll have every opportunity to replace him as an everyday player in the outfield.

Cordero, who led the minor leagues in triples in 2016 and 2017, possesses plus speed that should be a benefit wherever he plays in the outfield. The 6-foot-3, 226-pounder has always had raw power, but Baseball America noted that his lack of pitch recognition has diminished his ability to make contact and take advantage of his physical gifts. If he can stay healthy, he’ll have a chance to gain consistency.

Cordero can play all three outfield positions, and with some uncertainty about how the Red Sox will configure their outfield, that versatility should be valuable. The Red Sox will have a better idea on how they’ll use him as they get familiar with him during spring training.

“The exact role, when he plays, how he’s used, that’s something as we get to know him, Alex (Cora) is going to figure out what works best for the club, but we know he’s capable of playing all over the outfield and really impacting the baseball,” Bloom said.

Winckowski, meanwhile, may be years away from making a big-league impact, but he’s a pitcher who the Red Sox have monitored. This is the second time the 22-year-old has been traded in two weeks, first being dealt from the Blue Jays to the Mets in the Steven Matz trade on Jan. 27.


Winckowski was rated as the No. 20 prospect in the Mets’ system after that trade. The 6-foot-4 right-hander was touching 96 mph with his four-seam fastball during instructional league last summer with the Blue Jays, according to Baseball America, and he has a repertoire that includes a split-finger fastball. He’s a potential starter down the line and could pitch in Double-A this season for the Portland Sea Dogs or for Triple-A Worcester.

“He’s been primarily a fastball-slider (pitcher), but he has a couple different fastballs,” Bloom said. “He’s had a change-up in the past during instructional league. This year, he’s working on a splitter, which showed some promise.”

THE RED SOX agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with utility man Marwin Gonzalez, according to’s Mark Feinsand. The contract also includes about $1 million in performance bonuses.

Gonzalez, who turns 32 next month, is a versatile option who will give the Red Sox depth in both the infield and outfield. On the heels of the Benintendi trade. A switch-hitter, he’s likely to get a lot of work in the outfield while also serving as a left-handed hitting complement to Bobby Dalbec at first base.

RED SOX home night games will move back to their traditional 7:10 p.m. time slot after the team experimented with starting games at 7:30 p.m. last season.

Most afternoon games will start 1:10 p.m.

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