Andrew Benintendi of the Yankees speaks to the media before a game...

Andrew Benintendi of the Yankees speaks to the media before a game against the Royals at Yankee Stadium on Thursday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Aaron Boone was so pumped up by the Yankees’ trade for Andrew Benintendi late Wednesday night that he broke out a few of his greatest hits minutes after his team was swept in the Subway Series by the Mets. 

“It’s fake news that we have too many power hitters, too many sluggers,” Boone said, even though the questioner  actually was speaking about past Yankees lineups that may have lacked enough contact hitters like Benintendi, who Boone called “a lefthanded DJ [LeMahieu]." 

“That’s fake," a fiery Boone said. "We’ve got savages in the lineup and really good hitters.”  

Boone strayed a little from his infamous “my guys are [expletive] savages in that [expletive] box” rant to an umpire in 2019, but the sentiment was the same. 

Never mind that the Yankees had just totaled five runs in the two intense losses to the Mets and had lost 10 of their last 15.  

Boone was jazzed that Brian Cashman had added another “savage” in Benintendi, who arrived at Yankee Stadium on Thursday and was in the leadoff spot as the leftfielder against the team that traded him away, Kansas City. 

Like a teenager with a crush doodling hearts on a notebook during math class, Boone had moved beyond the Subway Series defeats and already was envisioning his new lineup. 

“Benintendi’s a great hitter,” Boone said. “Gets on base at a really good clip. Hits from the left side. Gives you some balance.” 

Benintendi, who hit .333 in the 2018 World Series for the champion Red Sox, went into Thursday batting .320 with a .785 OPS.  

He is a clear upgrade from Joey Gallo, who probably will be a former Yankee by the time Tuesday’s trade deadline passes but who was in the lineup in rightfield. 

The unvaccinated Benintendi said he is "open-minded" about getting a COVID-19 jab so he can play in Toronto in late September and perhaps in October if the Yankees meet the Blue Jays in the playoffs. So there probably won’t be a Kyrie Irving situation in the Bronx. 

The trade for Benintendi is a nice opening salvo by Cashman. It makes the Yankees better, though probably only moderately so. They already had a boffo lineup, even if the savages had been a little less savage lately. 

Still, getting Benintendi is a little like replacing an end table when the sofa is starting to show signs of wear. And by sofa, we mean the frayed pitching staff, which is where Cashman now can turn his attention. 

Luis Castillo? Frankie Montas? Noah Syndergaard? Jose Quintana? There are only a few starting pitchers known to be available, and every contender needs pitching. Cashman has to bring home one of them, preferably Castillo, who has a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts for the Reds. 

Castillo is a true ace or at least a No. 2, which is what the Yankees lack as long as Luis Severino is on the injured list with a lat issue. If Severino can come back and be as effective as he was before he got hurt — and that’s a big if, given his recent injury history — the Yankees could have a powerhouse playoff rotation with Gerrit Cole, Castillo and Severino backed up by Nestor Cortes, Jameson Taillon and Jordan Montgomery. 

The bullpen has been weakened by the season-ending injuries to Michael King and Chad Green and the troubles of Jonathan Loaisiga and Aroldis Chapman, although both have showed signs in recent outings. 

Bet on Cashman finding one or two useful bullpen arms by Tuesday, as he did when he stole Clay Holmes from the Pirates last season. Cashman does have that knack. 

But he has been beaten out for top starters on the trade market before — both times by the Astros, who got Justin Verlander in 2017 and Cole in 2018 from under his nose.

You’ll note franchise World Series title No. 28 has eluded Cashman since 2009, and not for a lack of trying. 

Since this season seems to be hurtling toward another Yankees-Astros ALCS showdown, it probably would be a good idea for Cashman to beat Houston and everyone else for Castillo’s services.  

That, as much as getting Benintendi, would be a savage move, and the Yankees cementing their status as a World Series favorite would not be fake news at all. 

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