After spending a few years in other MLB organizations, Hunter Renfroe signs a deal with the Boston Red Sox. Hunter Renfroe signed with Boston for a one-year deal worth $3.1 million. He will join an outfield already featuring Alex Verdugo and Andrew Benintendi. The former Padres and Rays right fielder will likely be a platoon option on a team looking to sign another outfielder or two this offseason. This move gives the Red Sox more depth and flexibility as they look to rebound from their disappointing 2020 campaign.
Hunter Renfroe Signs: Previous Years
Renfroe was actually drafted in the 31st round by the Red Sox in 2010 but declined to sign. Eventually, he became a first-round pick for the Padres in 2013. During his four seasons at the major league level in San Diego, Renfroe was a decent hitter who made up for his average with power. In 2019, he fully embraced the “three true outcomes" approach recording career highs in walks, strikeouts, and home runs with a career-low batting average.
Hunter Renfroe signs with the Red Sox for a full 2021 season after batting just .216 in 2019. In 140 games, Renfroe hit a career-high 33 home runs, despite this, he struck out a career-high 154 times.
After being traded to Tampa Bay Rays for Tommy Pham, Renfroe played in 42 of 60 games for the Rays, hitting under .200, despite this, he was still able to contribute with a clutch grand slam in the wild card series against Toronto. After Randy Arozarena‘s breakout year, Renfroe was no longer needed in Tampa"s offense and was designated for assignment following the 2020 season. Hunter Renfroe is familiar with the postseason but did not have much of an impact outside of that one series.
How Hunter Renfroe Fits Into Boston"s Outfield
The outfield for the Boston Red Sox is still trying to make up ground after trading away superstar outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers before the 2020 MLB season. Without Betts, the Boston Red Sox have several options on what to do with their outfield in 2021.
Hunter Renfroe signs and will be coming to Boston on a short contract. It will be very interesting to see how the Red Sox will manage their outfield going forward. One option would be to re-sign Jackie Bradley Jr. for center field, play Alex Verdugo in right field, and platoon Andrew Benintendi and Hunter Renfroe in left field.
Another situation could result in Verdugo playing center field and the other outfield positions being filled by Benintendi, Renfroe, and another new addition. Regardless of the route Boston chooses to take, adding Hunter Renfroe is a low-risk move that could prove beneficial down the road.
If Renfroe proves successful, Boston also has the option of team control for two more years. Entering his age 29 season, Renfroe still has time to improve and be valuable for multiple seasons. While this move might not be the big splash Red Sox fans were hoping for, Hunter Renfroe"s presence is almost definitely going to be a positive for Boston in 2021 and beyond.
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