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Mets acquire Khalil Lee in Royals-Red Sox Benintendi trade


The Mets are fighting battles on multiple fronts this winter — attempting to win in 2021 while replenishing their farm system.

On the farm-system front, the organization added a piece Wednesday night, acquiring outfielder Khalil Lee from the Royals in a three-way trade that also included the Red Sox.

In the deal, the Mets surrendered (to Boston) pitcher Josh Winckowski, who arrived in the recent trade that sent Steven Matz to Toronto. The Mets will also surrender a player to be named later to complete the deal. Kansas City acquired Andrew Benintendi from Boston in the trade, according to ESPN. Franchy Cordero went from Kansas City to Boston, according to multiple reports.

Lee, 22, was rated as the Royals’ No. 8 prospect by MLB pipeline. In 2019, he stole 53 bases at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where he had a slash line of .264/.363/.372 and played center field. He was selected by the Royals in the third round of the 2016 draft from Flint Hill School in Oakton, Va.

The trade fills a need for the Mets, who are thin on outfield prospects at the upper levels of the minor leagues. Outfielder Jarred Kelenic, whom the Mets selected in the first round of the 2018 draft, was dealt to the Mariners in the trade that brought Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to New York. Last summer, the Mets used their first-round pick on high school outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong.

In exchange for Matz last month, the Mets acquired minor league pitchers Sean Reid-Foley and Yennsy Diaz from Toronto, in addition to Winckowski.


The Mets officially announced the signing of Albert Almora Jr. to a one-year contract.

To create space on the 40-man roster, Corey Oswalt was designated for assignment. Once infielder Jonathan Villar’s signing becomes official, the Mets will need to open another roster space. Ali Sanchez was designated for assignment to clear roster space for Lee.


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