Just before the MLB world was set to go dark with a lockout, the Milwaukee Brewers lit up the hot stove with a stunner of a trade. It was just the type of crazy offseason trade fans have come to expect from president of baseball operations David Stearns.
The Brewers took care of two needs, replacing lost outfield production in the wake of Avisail Garcia leaving for free agency after opting out of his contract and offloading one of their bigger contracts on the team, when they traded for now former Boston Red Sox outfielder Hunter Renfroe.
Renfroe, who will be entering his age 30 season in 2022, spent his lone year with the Red Sox last year slashing .259/.315/.501 over 144 games. He also added 31 homers and 96 RBIs while scoring 89 runs.
In the four seasons in which he has played at least 100 games, Renfroe has hit at least 26 home runs in each of them. Three of those seasons came with the San Diego Padres, who drafted him with the 13th overall pick in the 2013 draft.
Hunter Renfroe comes to the Brewers in exchange for Jackie Bradley Jr and two prospects.
The Brewers were in a bit of a tough spot when it came to Jackie Bradley Jr. After a disappointing 2021 that saw him slash an abysmal .163/.236/.261, he of course picked up his player option for 2022.
And with Garcia gone, the Brewers were likely to give him plenty of playing time next season, especially since it would be difficult to trade a player coming off as poor a season as Bradley Jr was and making as much money as he was set to make. Prospects always make deals sweeter, though.
So the Brewers were able to make their move by packaging a couple infield prospects in the deal. Shortstop David Hamilton, the team’s No. 16 prospect per MLB Pipeline, and third baseman Alex Binelas, their No. 17 prospect, head over in the trade.
Hamilton, an 8th round draft pick in 2019, finally got to make his pro debut for Milwaukee last season after missing time due to injury. He slashed .258/.341/.419 with a whopping 50 steals to show off his 70-grade speed. He was also coming off a decently impressive Arizona Fall League showing.
Binelas, a Wisconsin native, was just drafted by the team in the 3rd round last summer. He got to work quickly in the minors, ending up with a .314 average and a 1.014 OPS on 11 doubles and 9 homers in just 29 games for Low-A Carolina.
There won’t be much more news for Brewers fans in the immediate future due to the impending lockout, but boy did the Brewers head into it with a bang!