The Angels have acquired outfielder Hunter Renfroe from the Brewers in trade for pitchers Janson Junk, Elvis Peguero and Adam Seminaris. Each groups have introduced the deal.
It is the third early strike of the offseason for the Halos, who’ve already signed starter Tyler Anderson to a three-year free agent deal and purchased infielder Gio Urshela. Now, they take a step in the direction of fixing an outfield that had a serious query mark alongside Mike Trout and Taylor Ward.
Renfroe ought to solidify the nook outfield spot alongside Ward. He is been an above-average hitter in every of the previous two seasons, with strikingly comparable manufacturing for the Purple Sox in 2021 and Brewers this 12 months. The previous Padres first-rounder has mixed for 60 residence runs during the last two seasons, following up a 31-homer displaying with the Sox with 29 extra in Milwaukee. He had an equivalent .315 on-base share in every year however greater than offset that modest quantity with huge energy manufacturing.
The proper-handed hitter has hit between .255 and .260 in every of the final two years whereas slugging round .500 each seasons. He has a cumulative .257/.315/.496 line in just below 1100 plate appearances going again to the beginning of 2021. His 22.9% strikeout price is true round common, whereas he is walked at a barely below-average 7.6% clip. He is a lower-OBP slugger who has notably decimated left-handed opposition. Renfroe carries a .269/.357/.508 line in 347 plate appearances over that stretch whereas holding the platoon benefit, though he is hit for sufficient energy to stay an honest choice in opposition to right-handed pitching (.252/.292/.491 ).
That energy manufacturing is Renfroe’s calling card, however he is additionally a viable defender within the nook outfield. Defensive Runs Saved has pegged him proper round league common in proper area in every of the final three seasons. Statcast’s range-based metric has Renfroe a number of runs beneath common yearly, however he compensates for his fringy athleticism with top-tier arm power. He is picked up double-digit assists in every of the final two years, and he leads all MLB outfielders having minimize down 27 baserunners in that point.
Renfroe’s glorious arm power has saved him primarily in proper area over the previous few years, though he did log plenty of innings in left earlier in his profession. If he steps into proper area at Angel Stadium, that’d push Ward over to left area. Prepare prime prospect Joe Adell now appears as if he’ll be relegated to fourth outfield/bench obligation after starting his profession with a .215/.259/.356 displaying in roughly one full season’s value of video games. Adell remains to be simply 23 years previous and coming off a stable 12 months in Triple-A Salt Lake, however the Angels do not seem ready to rely on him for an everyday function as they give the impression of being to vault their manner into the playoff image in 2023.
As with final week’s Urshela commerce, the Renfroe acquisition is about deepening the lineup with a productive however not elite veteran for a season. Renfroe turns 31 in January and is in his last season of membership management. He is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz for an $11.2MM wage, and he’ll be a free agent on the finish of the 12 months. That is an affordable sum for a participant of this caliber, however one reasonably costly season of arbitration management over a lower-OBP nook slugger is not teeming with commerce worth. Renfroe’s the second participant of that ilk traded in as many weeks.
The Blue Jays dealt Teoscar Hernandez to the Mariners for Erik Swanson and pitching prospect Adam Macko. That commerce got here as a shock to plenty of Toronto followers, however every of Swanson and Macko are arguably extra interesting gamers than any of the trio of Milwaukee pitchers obtained on this swap. Hernández is a greater hitter than Renfroe is, however the hole between his .282/.332/.508 line over the previous two seasons and Renfroe’s manufacturing is not all that dramatic. Nonetheless, Renfroe has had a tough time sticking in anyone spot as his price ticket has escalated all through his arbitration seasons. The Halos will probably be his fifth crew in as a few years, as he is successively performed for the Padres, Rays, Purple Sox and Brewers going again to 2019.
Including his projected arbitration wage pushes the Halos’ projected 2023 payroll as much as round $192MM, per Roster Useful resource. That’d be the very best mark in franchise historical past, narrowly topping their approximate $189MM determine from this previous season. They’re as much as roughly $206MM in luxurious tax commitments, round $27MM shy of the $233MM base tax threshold. The franchise’s spending capability this winter has been in query with proprietor Arte Moreno exploring a sale of the franchise. There’s nonetheless no indication the membership is prepared to method luxurious tax territory, however the acquisitions of Anderson, Urshela and Renfroe have tacked on an estimated $31.9MM in spending. The latter two gamers signify one-year investments, but it surely certainly appears Moreno’s affording common supervisor Perry Minasian and his group some leeway so as to add to the roster prematurely of the membership’s last season of management over defending AL MVP runner-up Shohei Ohtani.
The Brewers add a trio of pitchers, two of whom have already got huge league expertise. Junk is a former Twenty second-round choose of the Yankees. He went to the Halos within the 2021 deadline deal that despatched southpaw Andrew Heaney to the Bronx. The proper-hander has pitched in seven MLB video games over the previous two seasons, beginning six. He is allowed a 4.74 ERA by means of 24 2/3 innings, putting out a below-average 19.4% of opponents however posting a sterling 4.4% stroll price.
Junk, 27 in January, leans totally on a low-80s slider which prospect evaluators counsel might be an above-average pitch. He has respectable spin on his 92-93 MPH four-seam however hasn’t cemented himself on a giant league employees so far. He spent most of this 12 months on non-obligatory project to Triple-A Salt Lake, the place he posted a 4.74 ERA by means of 73 2/3 innings as a starter in a hitter-friendly atmosphere. His 22.1% strikeout share was a contact beneath common, however he solely walked 5.8% of opponents. The Seattle College product nonetheless has a pair of minor league choice years remaining and might bounce between Milwaukee and Triple-A Nashville as rotation or center reduction depth.
Peguero, then again, is a pure reliever. The righty debuted with three appearances as a COVID substitute late within the 2021 season. He earned a everlasting 40-man roster spot final offseason and appeared in 13 video games this previous season. Tasked with low-leverage innings, Peguero put up a 7.27 ERA throughout 17 1/3 innings. He solely struck out 15.6% of opponents however received swinging strikes on a extra spectacular 12% of his complete pitches. The Dominican Republic native induced grounders on roughly half the batted balls he surrendered within the majors.
He additionally had a superb 12 months in Salt Lake, the place he tossed 44 1/3 frames of two.84 ERA ball. Peguero fanned 27.5% of batters confronted in opposition to a high quality 7.1% stroll price and racked up grounders at an enormous 57.5% clip. Like Junk, Peguero leaned totally on a slider throughout his MLB look, though he throws a lot tougher. Peguero’s slider checked in at 91 MPH on common whereas his fastball sat simply north of 96. He turns 26 in March and in addition has two choices remaining, so the Brewers can deploy him as an up-and-down center reduction choice whereas hoping he can translate his Triple-Successful in opposition to huge league opponents.
Seminaris went within the fifth spherical within the 2020 draft out of Lengthy Seashore State. At 6’0″ southpaw, he wasn’t ranked among the many prime 30 prospects within the Anaheim system at Baseball America. He traversed three minor league ranges this 12 months, displaying effectively at Excessive-A in opposition to youthful competitors however struggling as he climbed the minor league ladder. Altogether, he labored 101 2/3 frames of three.54 ERA ball with a 22.1% strikeout price and an 8.7% stroll share. He is not on the 40-man roster however must be added by the top of the 2023 season or be uncovered within the Rule 5 draft.
Whereas Milwaukee clearly likes all three mid-20’s hurlers, they’re every versatile depth choices. Absolutely, a key motivator within the deal for the Brew Crew was reallocating Renfroe’s hefty arbitration projection. Slashing payroll wasn’t the only real impetus for the commerce — the Brewers might’ve merely non-tendered Renfroe final week in the event that they have been dedicated to getting his cash off the books — however GM Matt Arnold and his employees elected to clear some payroll room whereas bringing in a number of depth arms of notice.
The Brewers are projected for a wage round $115MM at Roster Useful resource thanks largely to an arbitration class that also consists of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and willy adames, amongst others. That is about $17MM shy of this 12 months’s Opening Day mark, and extra roster shuffling figures to be on the horizon for Milwaukee. Dealing a complementary participant like Renfroe doesn’t mean the Brewers are about to flip any of Burnes, Woodruff or Adames this winter, however Milwaukee might think about transferring second baseman Kolten Wong or a depth starter like Adrian Houser gold Eric Lauer. They’ve already drawn some curiosity from the Mariners on Wong and are certain to ponder plenty of methods to attempt to stability the current and the longer term.
Milwaukee might dip into the decrease tiers of the free agent nook outfield market to backfill for Renfroe’s absence, with Tyrone Taylor standing as the present favourite for taking part in time alongside Christian Yelich and Garrett Mitchell within the outfield. Extremely-touted younger gamers like Sal Frelick and Joey Wiemer might play their manner into the midseason combine, but it surely’d be a shock if the Brewers did not add not less than one established veteran outfielder earlier than Opening Day.
Extra to come back