The Los Angeles Angels took two of three from the Pirates to improve to 51-49 on the season. They've won six of their last eight to break out of a prolonged slump and get back in the playoff race.
The Angels have played better of late, but still trail the third Wild Card spot by four games. It's unclear the direction the Angels will head in as we approach the trade deadline, but regardless of the team's position, it's very possible Hunter Renfroe will be made available.
Renfroe came to Anaheim with the expectation that he'd be rock solid hitting behind the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, and Anthony Rendon, but after a hot start he's been anything but solid. He's lost some playing time and when the Angels finally do get whole again, it's possible he'll be nothing more than a part-time player.
With Renfroe's future with the Angels uncertain, it's reasonable to start thinking about trade possibilities. One team that sticks out is the Los Angeles Dodgers.
LA Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe makes sense as a LA Dodgers trade target
The player the Dodgers really want is Ohtani, and who can blame them? The issue with that is there's a good chance the Angels don't trade Shohei at the deadline, and there's an even better chance they don't send him to the Dodgers. While Ohtani won't be happening, that doesn't mean these two teams can't deal with each other at all. Enter Hunter Renfroe.
It's been a disappointing year for Renfroe in Anaheim. It started out great as he had an .844 OPS with seven home runs and 20 RBI through the month of April. Since then, the Angels have been waiting for him to break out.
When Mike Trout returns from the IL, I'm not even sure he has a starting spot. Trout will play center field with Taylor Ward in left and Mickey Moniak, a player the Angels simply have to play every single day in right. Renfroe could play first, but when Anthony Rendon finally comes back that pushed Mike Moustakas there, and he's swung a hot bat as well.
The veteran outfielder has slashed .233/.289/.398 with eight home runs and 22 RBI since May 1. That's less than ideal for a guy who has spent most of the season hitting fourth and fifth. Lately, Renfroe has been hitting sixth and seventh rather consistently, and has found himself on the bench a decent amount as well.
While things haven't worked out great in Anaheim for Renfroe, he's been a consistent power hitter everywhere else he's been in his career. The Dodgers are reportedly looking for a right-handed hitter according to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic (subscription required) and Renfroe fits the bill.
In his career, Renfroe has an .877 OPS against left-handed pitching. He can provide some much-needed thump in an outfield that has struggled against left-handed pitching with the exception of Mookie Betts, obviously.
Renfroe would be a good buy-low guy for the Dodgers as they look to make a deep run through October while the Angels would net an asset for a player who continues to struggle in an Angels uniform and is losing playing time. I think it makes sense for both sides.