ANAHEIM — Angels general manager Perry Minasian made it clear at the annual GM Meetings on Nov. 15 that adding to the outfield would be a priority for the club this offseason, despite having Mike Trout, Taylor Ward, Jo Adell and Mickey Moniak on the roster.
The Angels accomplished that goal on Tuesday, as they acquired veteran outfielder Hunter Renfroe from the Brewers in exchange for right-handers Janson Junk and Elvis Peguero and lefty Adam Seminaris. Renfroe, 30, is coming off a strong season with the Brewers that saw him slash .255/.315/.492 with 29 homers, 23 doubles and 72 RBIs in 125 games. He played 118 games in right field and has mostly played that position throughout his seven-year career, although he does have experience in left field as well.
Angels get: OF Hunter Renfroe
Brewers get: RHP Janson Junk, RHP Elvis Peguero, LHP Adam Seminaris
“Obviously, it’s a productive player who has done it year in and year out for a while,” general manager Perry Minasian said. “Not only can he produce on the offensive side, he’s a quality defender who can really throw. He’s just the total package. We felt like he was a really good fit for us.”
Minasian said owner Arte Moreno has continued to allow him to operate “business as usual” despite Moreno possibly exploring a sale of the team.
“I’d like to thank the ownership for allowing me to pursue this,” Minasian said. “We’ve been really active and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. We addressed the rotation early, were able to address the infield. It’s been a crazy 10 to 12 days, but now, we are able to address the outfield with a quality guy , so we’re really excited.”
Renfroe figures to be a regular in the outfield along with Trout and Ward, with Adell and Moniak providing depth. Known for his power and strong throwing arm in the outfield, Renfore has slashed .240/.300/.490 with 157 homers, 131 doubles and 394 RBIS in 701 games in seven seasons with the Padres, Rays, Red Sox and Brewers.
Renfore has hit at least 25 homers in each of the last five years (not counting the shortened 2020 season) and the Angels desperately need offense after finishing 25th in the Majors in runs scored last year.
“I think we’re significantly better,” Minasian said. “I don’t think the work is done. There’s definitely areas where we can continue to improve. But I do think we’re significantly better.”
Adell and Moniak are now expected to compete for a backup outfield role during Spring Training. Moniak is the lone left-handed hitter of that group. There also remains a chance the Angels could trade Adell this offseason, although Minasian again indicated he likes having quality depth.
“We need everybody, because depth is important and things happen over the course of a year,” Minasian said. “We feel like they’re really good players. We have some high-end guys and now, we’re trying to fill some of that middle part of our roster with quality.”
Junk, 26, made seven appearances with the Angels over the last two years and had a 4.74 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings. He was acquired with Peguero in a trade with the Yankees in 2019 that sent Andrew Heaney to New York.
Peguero, 25, struggled in parts of two seasons as a reliever with the Angels, recording a 9.15 ERA in 19 2/3 innings. Seminaris, 24, had a solid year across three Minor League levels in 2022, posting a 3.54 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings.
“It’s tough and pitching is always a premium,” Minasian said. “I think every team needs it and it’s very desirable. It was tough to trade these players. Obviously, Janson and Elvis were two guys we acquired and we really liked and we’ve seen develop over the last two years. But the opportunity to acquire this type of player who can impact our club on an everyday basis, both offensively and defensively, we felt like it was worth the price.”