Last week, the Brewers did the opposite of what several fans thought would happen. They picked up Kolten Wong’s 2023 option and declined Brad Boxberger’s. With the deadline to protect Rule 5 draft eligible players and the tender deadline this week, odds are that Matt Arnold will make more surprising moves soon. One idea that has been reported is the idea of trading away Hunter Renfroe. MLB Trade Rumors and Buster Olney have commented on this possibility. Olney also states that rival clubs have indicated this.
Hunter Renfroe in 2022:
Adjusted OPS+ of 126
With a projected salary of $11.2m through arbitration, per MLBTR, rival clubs say he could be on the move. He’s played with four different teams the last four seasons.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 14, 2022
Whether or not these reports are true, the idea of trading away versus retaining Hunter Renfroe is an interesting one. Here we take a further look at both sides.
Reasons to trade Hunter Renfroe
The Brewers motto over the past several seasons has been to trade away less controllable assets, especially as their salary increases. With that being said, Renfroe is entering his final year of club control. He also is projected to be the highest paid arbitration position player at $11MM.
Should the Brewers trade Renfroe, this would free up more opportunities for their young prospects to see playing time. Garrett Mitchell, Esteury Ruiz, Sal Frelick, and Joey Wiemer are all expected to see various amounts of major league action next season. Christian Yelich and Tyrone Taylor will also be returning in what could be another crowded outfield.
Departing ways with Renfroe now would ensure that the Brewers get something in return for him. If this does occur, they could look to target a starting catcher and/or more pitching. Either way, any sort of return package for Renfroe should include major league ready players.
Reasons to not trade Hunter Renfroe
Last season, Renfroe was one of the Brewers most productive hitters. On the team, he was third in home runs and RBI, fourth in hits, and fifth in doubles. Also, among qualified hitters, he led the team in batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS.
In addition to his great offense, Renfroe has a cannon for an arm. He is one of the best players are recording outfield assists. On 11 instances last season he threw out a base runner.
Retaining Renfroe means paying him near $11MM. However, he is a very productive player and for a team that is expected to compete for a play off spot next year he could have a big role. If I had to guess, I would say Renfroe is staying put with the Brewers.