The Los Angeles Angels have acquired Hunter Renfroe from the Brewers. Renfroe will be expected to be the home run hitter he's always been while hitting in the middle of the lineup behind Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon.
A big reason Renfroe was traded was his contract. He's projected to make $11.2 million dollars in arbitration this season and the Brewers have no interest in spending the money. Renfroe hitting free agency after the year in addition to the hefty price tag is why the Angels didn't have to give up much to get him.
Could the Renfroe trade mean a Willy Adames trade is coming?
Renfroe isn't the only player expected to make a decent amount of money in arbitration. Willy Adames is projected to make $9.2 million dollars according to MLBTradeRumors. He's scheduled to be a free agent after 2024. Could the Brewers just enter a full rebuild and ship Adames off as well?
I don't expect the Brewers to trade Adames, but if they do, the Angels should try to acquire him.
Willy Adames is different from most shortstops. Most shortstops hit for more contact and get on base with speed. Adames is a guy who strikes out a ton, and doesn't get on base a whole lot, but has a ton of power and plays excellent defense.
Adames is very similar to someone like Hunter Renfroe. He struck out 166 times in 139 games which is a ton. He also hit 31 home runs and drove in 98 runs. Both totals set career highs for the 27-year-old.
He slashed .233/.298/.458 which isn't great but is also not the norm. He was a .262 career hitter with a .311 OBP heading into this season. I'd expect him to be closer to those numbers in the future with the great power production.
In addition to his solid bat, Adames is a great defender. He ranked in the 97th percentile in outs above average according to baseball savant. The Angels would be getting the same if not better defense than David Fletcher would provide at short. Adames of course would be a massive upgrade offensively as well.
The Angels could really use an upgrade at shortstop as Gio Urshela is not expected to play there and David Fletcher is not the answer there either. With it being unlikely Los Angeles spends the money needed for one of the big-name shortstops, Adames could be a realistic target.
Adames would be harder to acquire than Renfroe considering he has another year of team control after this one but the Angels would be foolish to not try. The Brewers appear to be signaling toward a rebuild, maybe Adames will be available.