The Red Sox announced Thursday that they’ve optioned struggling outfielder Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Worcester. A corresponding move wasn’t announced. There will be speculation among Sox fans about the possibility of top prospect Jarren Duran being promoted this weekend in his place, though MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo tweets that it’s likelier Boston will summon an extra bullpen arm for now.
Cordero, 26, was one of five players the Red Sox received in February’s three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City. The Sox also picked up young right-hander Josh Winckowski from the Mets in that deal, and they’re still set to receive a trio of players to be named later (two from the Royals, one from the Mets).
The hope was that Cordero, whose raw tools have intrigued teams and fans alike for several years, would blossom into an everyday presence in the outfield at Fenway Park, but things haven’t played out that way at all just yet. Through his first 102 plate appearances, Cordero has slashed just .179/.228/.274 with a sky-high 36.3 percent strikeout rate. He’s homered just one time in that span.
With elite speed and raw power, a plus throwing arm and top-of-the-scale exit velocity readings throughout his career, Cordero has been a fun player to dream on. Injuries and an inability to curb his prolific strikeout rate have hampered him in the big leagues, however, as he’s batted just .222/.285/.393 in 417 plate appearances. A reset of sorts in Triple-A could do him some good; he’s slashed .305/.357/.567 in 517 career plate appearances at that level.
Benintendi has performed fairly well over in Kansas City, shaking off a miserable start of his own with a big month of May to boost his overall season line to .283/.347/.371 in 176 trips to the dish. The trade is obviously looking good for the Royals at present, but while the knee-jerk reaction will be to call the deal a “win” for Kansas City, we won’t really know the deal’s full impact until years down the road. That’s true of all trades, generally speaking, but especially true of three-team, multi-player deals such as this one; we still don’t even know the names of all the players involved in the trade, as the PTBNLs have yet to be announced.
It’s been a disappointing start to Cordero’s time with the Sox, but Boston controls him through at least the 2023 season and he can be optioned freely both this year and next. For the Royals, they’ll enjoy Benintendi’s bat for the remainder of the 2021 season and for the 2022 campaign, barring an extension or a trade. The Mets, meanwhile, acquired a full six seasons of control over young outfielder Khalil Lee, who made his big league debut for them earlier this month.