On Tuesday night, the Angels general manager traded for Milwaukee outfielder Hunter Renfroe and sent pitchers Janson Junk and Elvis Peguero, along with minor league pitcher Adam Seminaris, to the Brewers.
The move adds much-needed depth to an Angels outfield that includes Mike Trout, Taylor Ward, Jo Adell and Mickey Moniak. Trout is a mainstay as is Ward. And Renfroe, who has been a major leaguer since 2016, is no bench player, though he and Ward primarily played right field last season. Expect the decision on who starts in right and who starts in left to be made in spring training.
And it all raises the question: What does this mean for Adell, who was seen as part of the future of the Angels outfield?
“We need everybody,” Minasian said. “Our 40-man depth’s important; things happen over the course of a year.
“These guys, they’re not middle-tier players. We feel like they’re really good players. But we have some high-end guys and we’re trying to fill some of that middle part of our roster with quality, and we feel like we’ve done that.”
Renfroe, who led all right fielders with 11 assists this year, carries more than outfield experience. He hit .255 with an .807 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. The Angels had a .687 OPS, tied for 22nd in the majors.
Over 125 games, Renfroe contributed 72 RBIs and 29 home runs in Milwaukee’s second-place finish in the National League Central. He’s also one of seven players to hit 25 or more home runs in each of the last five full seasons. The others are Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Judge, Manny Machado, Kyle Schwarber and Eugenio Suarez.
Renfroe, who turns 31 in January, is a career .240 hitter with a .790 OPS in seven seasons with San Diego, Tampa Bay, Boston and Milwaukee. He’s eligible for arbitration again and likely to get a raise after earning $7.65 million this year. He can become a free agent after next season.
“We have a lot of young players on the roster … that haven’t necessarily established themselves at the big league level,” Minasian added when asked if he’ll have a conversation with Adell about his role. “I think it’s one of those things over the course of the offseason, when we get to spring training, things have a funny way of working themselves out.
“One thing about Jo and the rest of our group is I like the quality of our kids and I think what they went through last year is going to help them become better players next year.”
Minasian, at the GM meetings in Las Vegas this month, listed three ways he was looking to improve the team: adding to the pitching rotation and getting more infield and outfield depth.
And the Angels have been aggressive in the following weeks, signing starting pitcher Tyler Anderson and trading for infielder Gio Urshela and Renfroe.
Asked what he thought about the roster after the flurry of moves, Minasian said: “I think we’re significantly better. I don’t think the work is done. There’s definitely areas where we can continue to
Junk, 26, made three appearances for the Angels, including two starts. He was 1-1 with a 6.48 earned-run average in 8-1/3 innings.
Peguero, 25, made 13 relief appearances this season, compiling a 6.75 ERA in 17-1/3 innings.
Seminaris, 24, was selected by the Angels in the fifth round of the 2020 draft out of Long Beach State.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.