With a busy start to free agency for the Los Angeles Angels, newly acquired outfielder, Hunter Renfroe understood that his departure from the Milwaukee Brewers was less of a surprise and more of a numbers game for his former club. His status as an impending free agent after the 2023 season opened up opportunities for teams to trade for the 30-year-old.
Renfroe is set to play for his fifth team in the past five seasons, a feat that not many big leaguers achieve, and after another productive power season, the outlook for the right-handed bat is promising. His final year of arbitration is set to earn him a bit more than $11 million this upcoming season.
However, with where the Brewers are with their roster and the status of their top-end minor league system, Renfroe knew his time there wasn’t for the long haul, via Adam McCalvy of MLB.com:
“Obviously, considering the other four times, I kind of know what happens during this time of the year,” Renfroe said. “But also, I can see the writing on the wall, as far as how much money that the Brewers were going to have put into arbitration guys. Their money was going to be climbing pretty good. And being not necessarily a small-market team, but a middle-market team, knowing that they do have a place where they like to be money-wise, and [the desire] to get some of the young guys from Triple-A out there, you saw the writing on the wall a little bit. They had to make some room.”
The former first-round pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft has posted a combined 111 wRC+ in his last five seasons dating back to 2018, and at $11 million, his 60 home runs in his past 269 games seems like a bargain the Angels capitalized on.
The Angels now have an outfield capable of smashing upwards of 100 home runs between Renfroe, Mike Trout, and a healthy Taylor Ward. Manager Phil Nevin has his outfield if all things go well and for general manager Perry Minasian, he’s done a fantastic job thus far.
‘Work is not done’ following Hunter Renfroe deal for Perry Minasian and Angels
The Angels made a few solid additions to their roster following the signing of Tyler Anderson and the acquisitions of Gio Urshela & Renfroe. They’ve been the most active team in free agency thus far and Minasian reiterated the club’s stance on improving on the periphery.
After finishing in third place with a 73-89 record in 2021 with two of the best players in Major League Baseball on their roster, the Angels haven’t allowed the market to dictate their direction this offseason and have gotten ahead of the league in terms of what their budget allows. There’s another way to look at it, that the Angels simply attacked cost-effective options instead of throwing money at high-priced free agents in a rather important time with ownership.
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