The Brewers and Matt Arnold have made their first big move of the offseason. Hunter Renfroe, who was tendered a contract last week and is projected to make $11 MM, has been traded to the Angels. In return the Brewers are receiving three pitching prospects. Those players are Janson Junk, Elvis Peguero, and Adam Seminaris.
The Brewers have traded RF Hunter Renfroe to the Angels for three pitchers: Janson Junk, Elvis Peguero, Adam Seminaris.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) November 23, 2022
Hunter Renfroe was acquired around this time last year from the Red Sox. As the clock was winding down on a lockout being initiated, David Stearns gave up Jackie Bradley Jr, David Hamilton, and Alex Binelas in order to acquire Hunter Renfroe. That deal got the Brewers off the hook for Bradley Jr’s contract. In return they got Renfroe, who at the time had two years of club control remaining.
As mentioned above, Renfroe was set to make $11 MM in arbitration during his last year of team control. He certainly performed well in his first year as a Brewer. The caveat to this is that the Brewers also have a bunch of outfield prospects who are ready for playing time at the big league level. Matt Arnold made a comment indicating as much after the trade was announced.
Matt Arnold says this was a baseball trade, not a payroll dump. He felt the Brewers were dealing from a position of strength with their prospect-heavy OF situation and wanted to add pitching to help the MLB club in ’23. Says Janson Junk will get a chance to win a rotation spot.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) November 23, 2022
What do we know about the pitchers that the Brewers received in return?
Both Janson Junk and Elvis Peguero are on the 40-man roster. Junk was the Angles 16th ranked prospect. The right-handed starting pitcher has limited major league experience. He is a high spin rate pitcher with a fastball that sits in the 95-96MPH range. He also throws a curve and a slider.
Peguero is is coming off a tremendous 2022 season. The 25 year old right-handed pitcher spent most of the season at the Triple-A level. He appeared in 38 games, covered 44 innings, and had a 2.84 ERA. Additionally, he was five for five in save opportunities and collected eight holds. He has pitched in the majors each of the past two seasons, but has not had much success in a limited sample size.
Last is Adam Seminaris. He is a soft tossing left-handed pitcher who throws a lot of strikes. His best pitch is his change up. He also is labeled as an athletic player and projects best as a middle-inning reliever. To me, this screams Brent Suter 2.0. Of course, Suter was just claimed off waivers by the Rockies a few days ago.
In the end, the Brewers are getting three young controllable pitchers. They all have multiple years of minor league options remaining as well. This trade also opens the door for prospects Garrett Mitchell, Esteury Ruiz, Sal Frelick, and Joey Weimer. Mitchell and Ruiz are currently on the 40-man roster whereas Frelick and Weimer are not.