In this slow-moving office, we look forward to seeing which need the Red Sox will address first. There are so many areas on the list that, as they go this week, there aren’t many clear indications of what they think strategically. That changed today when the team signed its first free agent in the winter. They announced Monday that outfielder Hunter Renfro has signed a one-year deal.
According to this writing the terms of the contract are not official, however it suggests that Alex Spear could add a total of $ 600,000 in addition to the $ 3.1 million base salary bonus.
Renfro will earn a maximum of $ 3.7 million with a potential bonus of $ 3.1 million as base salary.
– Alex Spear (alexspeier) December 14, 2020
Renfro, a 29-year-old right-handed hitter in January, spent his previous four seasons with Patros after 2020 with Rays. He is a former first-round pick of Patres, before he was expelled from high school by Boston as a catcher in the 31st round, but he did not sign. As a major league, he had a top career, marking the peak of 2018 at this point, at least from an offensive perspective. That year, he scored .248 / .302 / .504 for 114 WRC +, the only season he was better than average by that metric. In 2019, he averaged 98 points and played with excellent defense.
However, last summer was rough. Renfro finished the 2020 season with just 156 / .252 / .393 for 76 wRC +. As a result, he was appointed in November when the Race had to make the list of 40 people for their Rule 5 defense.
Looking ahead, the Renfro Red Sox may fit as a part-time or everyday player, depending on how much they want to spend outdoors. As a part-timer, the left-handed can use him very effectively against the pitch. In his career, he speaks 137 wRC + against Southerners.
However, if the Red Sox believe in safety, he could also be the new daily right fielder, allowing Alex Verduco to shift to the center field and focus mostly on picking the rest of the winter. Since measurements were ubiquitous, it is debatable how one might consider the safety of Renfro. As I mentioned, he was a star in 2019, but he has been average or slightly below average for the rest of his life. Considering how the Red Sox feel about proper field defense on the Fenway and being defensively downgraded in the center field by Verduco sliding, they don’t want to stop adding their outdoors here.
Since Renfro is still under 30, there is a big upside here, having won in the Majors relatively recently and being able to beat for power. As a right-handed hitter with pulling trends and a flying ball approach, it’s not hard to see him using the Monster to his advantage for numerous extra basic hits. If things go well, Renfro will be refereeing two more seasons after one season to come.
In this signing too, we will see more about Renfro as a player and how he fits in with the Red Sox in the coming days, but now we can be glad that something really happened.