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The Angels acquired Hunter Renfro from the Brewers

The Angels acquired Hunter Renfro from the Brewers

The Angels’ early-offseason aggressiveness continues. The Halos have announced the acquisition of the outfielder Hunter Renfro from the Brewers on Tuesday night. pitcher Johnson Junk, Elvis Peguero And Adam Seminaris Go to Milwaukee instead.

It’s the third early strike of the offseason for the Halos, who have already signed a starter Tyler Anderson A three-year free agent contract and acquired infielder Geo Urshela In trade with the twins. Now, they take a step toward fixing an outfield that also had a big question mark Mike Trout And Taylor Ward.

Renfro should solidify the corner outfield spot opposite Ward. He’s been an above-average hitter in each of the last two seasons, with remarkably similar production for the Red Sox in 2021 and the Brewers this year. The former first-rounder has combined for 60 home runs over the past two seasons, a 31-homer showing with the Sox along with 29 more in Milwaukee. He had a consistent .315 on-base percentage each year but more than offset that modest number with big power production.

The right-handed hitter has hit between .255 and .260 over the past two years and slugged around .500 in both seasons. He has a cumulative .257/.315/.496 line in just under 1100 plate appearances going back to the start of 2021. His 22.9% strikeout rate is close to average, while he walks at a slightly below average 7.6% clip. He is a low-OBP slugger who has especially destroyed left-handed opponents. Renfrow carries a .269/.357/.508 line while holding the platoon advantage. There are unfounded concerns over him but has hit for enough power to remain a decent option against right-handed pitching (.252/.292/.491).

That power production is Renfro’s calling card, but he’s also an effective defender. Defensive runs saved have put him near the league average in right field in each of the past three seasons. In Statcast’s range-based metric, Renfro has run somewhat below his annual average, but he compensates for his lackluster athleticism with top-level arm strength. He has tallied double-digit assists in each of the past two years and leads all MLB outfielders with 27 baserunners in that span.

Renfroe’s excellent arm strength has kept him primarily in right field the past few years, although he logged several innings in left early in his career. If he were to step into right field at Angel Stadium, that would push Ward to left field. Former top prospect I’m Adele Now it looks like he will be relegated to fourth outfield/bench duty after starting his career hitting .215/.259/.356 in roughly a full season of games. Adel is still just 23 years old and coming off a solid year at Triple-A Salt Lake, but the Angels don’t seem ready to rely on him for a regular role to vault their way into the playoff picture in 2023.

Like last week’s Urshela trade, the Renfro acquisition is about deepening the lineup for a season without being a productive but elite veteran. Renfro turns 31 in January and is in his final season in club control. he projected MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz is due for an $11.2MM salary, and will be a free agent at the end of the year. That’s a reasonable sum for a player of this caliber, but a moderately expensive season of arbitration control over a low-OBP corner slugger doesn’t match the trade value. Renfroe is the second player of that ilk to deal in as many weeks.

Sent by the Blue Jays Teoscar Hernandez To the Mariners for a reliever Eric Swanson and pitching prospects Adam Macko. The trade was a surprise to Toronto fans, but Swanson and McCaw are each more appealing players than the trio of pitchers Milwaukee received in the swap. Hernandez is a better hitter than Renfro, but the gap between the former’s .282/.332/.508 line over the past two seasons and the latter’s production isn’t as dramatic. Still, Renfrow has had a tough time locking down either spot as his price tag has risen throughout his arbitration season. The Halos will be his fifth team in as many years, as he has played consecutively for the Padres, Rays, Red Sox and Brewers going back to 2019.

Adding in his projected arbitration salary pushes Halos’ estimated 2023 salary to around $192MM. Per roster resource. That would be the highest mark in franchise history, briefly topping their estimated $189MM number from this past season. They’re up to roughly $206MM in luxury tax commitments, about $27MM shy ​​of the $233MM base threshold. The franchise’s spending power has been questioned this winter with owner Art Moreno exploring a sale of the franchise. There’s no indication yet that the club is willing to move into luxury tax territory, but the acquisitions of Anderson, Urshela and Renfro cost an estimated $31.9MM in 2023. The latter two players represent a one-year investment, but Moreno appears to be giving general manager Perry Minassian and his group some room to add to the roster before the club’s final season of control over the defending AL MVP runner-up. Shohei Ohtani.

The Brewers add a trio of pitchers, two of whom already have big league experience. Junk is a former 22nd round pick of the Yankees. He went to the Halos on a deal until 2021 that sent the southpaw Andrew Heaney Near the Bronx. The right-hander has appeared in seven MLB games over the past two seasons, starting with those six. He allowed a 4.74 ERA through 24 2/3 innings, striking out 19.4% of opponents but posting a 4.4% walk rate.

Junk, 27 in January, initially leaned on a low-80s slider that prospect evaluators suggested could be an average pitch. He has decent spin in the 92-93 MPH four-seam but hasn’t cemented himself with the major league staff so far. He spent most of this year on optional assignment in Salt Lake, where he posted a 4.64 ERA through 73 2/3 innings as a starter in a hitter-friendly environment. His 22.1% strikeout percentage was a touch below average, but he walked just 5.8% of opponents. The Seattle University product still has a pair of minor league option years remaining and could bounce between Milwaukee and Triple-A Nashville as rotation or middle relief depth.

Peguero, on the other hand, is a pure sedative. Wright debuted with three appearances as a COVID replacement late in the 2021 season. He earned a permanent 40-man roster spot last offseason and has appeared in 13 games this year. Working low-leverage innings, Peguero posted a 7.27 ERA over 17 1/3 innings. He only struck out 15.6% of opponents but had a more impressive strikeout rate of 12% of his total pitches. The Dominican Republic native surrendered nearly half of the batted balls he hit.

He had a great year in Salt Lake, where he tossed 44 1/3 frames of 2.84 ERA ball. Peguero struck out 27.5% of batters against a quality 7.1% walk rate and racked up grounders at a 57.5% clip. Like Junk, Peguero primarily leaned toward a slider during his MLB looks, though he throws much harder. Peguero’s slider checked in at an average of 91 MPH while his fastball sat just north of 96. He’ll turn 26 in March and has two options remaining, so the Brewers could deploy him as an up-and-down middle reliever in hopes he can translate his Triple-A success against big league opposition.

Seminary went in the fifth round of the 2020 draft out of Long Beach State. A 6’0″ southpaw, he was not ranked among the top 30 prospects in the Anaheim system by Baseball America. He has pitched through three minor league levels this year, pitched well against smaller competition in High-A but has struggled as he climbs the minor league ladder. In all, he worked 101 2/3 frames of 3.54 ERA ball with a 22.1% strikeout rate and an 8.7% walk percentage. He is not on the 40-man roster but must be added by the end of the 2023 season or exposed in the Rule 5 draft.

While Milwaukee clearly prefers three hurlers in the mid-20s, they are each flexible depth options. Of course, a key motivation of the deal was to redistribute Renfroe’s heavy arbitration projections. Salary reduction wasn’t the only motivation for the trade — the Brewers could have only non-tendered Renfro last week if they had committed to getting his money off the books — but GM Matt Arnold and his staff elected to free up some salary room by bringing in a few depth arms of note.

The Brewers are projected to have roughly $115MM in roster resources in what is essentially an arbitration class that still includes Corbin Burns, Brandon Woodruff And Willie Adams, among others. That’s about $17MM shy ​​of this year’s Opening Day mark, and more roster shuffle stats are on the horizon. Dealing a complementary player like Renfro isn’t advised if the Brewers are going to flip any of Burns, Woodruff or Adams, but Milwaukee could consider moving the second baseman. Colten Wong Or like a depth starter Adrian Houser or Eric Lauer. They have already drawn something interests From Wong’s Mariners and sure to think of many ways to try to balance the present and the future.

Milwaukee can now dip into the low end of the free agent corner outfield market to backfill for Renfro’s absence. Tyrone Taylor Standing as the current favorite to play time as well Christian Yelich And Garrett Mitchell A favorite of young players in the outfield Sal Frelick And Joey Wimmer Meeks could play their way through midseason, but it would be a surprise if the Brewers didn’t add at least one veteran outfielder before Opening Day.

Photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports.


#Angels #acquired #Hunter #Renfro #Brewers

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