The Red Sox have signed free-agent outfielder Hunter Renfroe to a one-year contract for the 2021 season, the club announced earlier Monday afternoon.
Renfroe, who turns 29 next month, was designated for assignment by the Rays in late November. The right-handed hitting outfielder slashed a measly .156/.252/.393 to go along with eight home runs and 22 RBI over 42 games for Tampa Bay this past season.
According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Renfroe will earn a base salary of $3.1 million in 2021, but his deal includes bonuses that could bump that number up to $3.7 million.
Because he was just about to enter his first season of arbitration eligibility, Renfroe could remain with the Sox through the end of the 2023 campaign. The former Padres prospect clubbed 26 or more homers in each of his first three full seasons with San Diego, and he was part of the trade that sent fellow outfielder Tommy Pham to the Pads last December.
One would have to figure that although he had already joined Boston’s front office as chief baseball officer at that time, Chaim Bloom very well could have been involved in the process leading up to that trade for Renfroe while he was still serving under Erik Neander in Tampa Bay.
Prior to getting drafted by the Padres in the first round of the 2013 draft out of Mississippi State University, Renfroe was initially selected by Boston in the 21st round of the 2010 amateur draft out of high school, but the club could not get him to sign.
Now, more than 10 years later, Renfroe joins the Red Sox representing some pretty important outfield depth considering the fact he has experience at all three outfield positions, primarily in left and right.
On top of that, Renfroe has an impressive track record against left-handed pitching over the course of his major-league career, as he has posted a .912 OPS in 495 lifetime plate appearances against southpaws thus far.
With that in mind, we could see the former Bulldog potentially form a platoon in left field with Andrew Benintendi, who owns a career .691 OPS against lefties.
Bloom could very well address this topic when he speaks to reporters via Zoom later this afternoon, so stay tuned for that.