Former Angels outfielder earns chance to bounce back with Royals

Aug 28, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Hunter Renfroe (12)
Aug 28, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Hunter Renfroe (12) / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Last offseason, the Los Angeles Angels made several moves to add as much depth as possible to surround Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. One of the early moves they made was acquiring Hunter Renfroe in what looked like a savvy move.

The Angels desperately needed a corner outfielder, and Renfroe seemed like the perfect fit. He was as consistent as they came in the power department, and was acquired for what seemed like not very much.

Of course, the Renfroe addition failed to pan out. He got off to a blistering start, particularly at Angel Stadium, but really struggled from May through August when he was eventually claimed off of waivers by the Reds. Renfroe had just a .713 OPS and hit 20 home runs this season, 19 of which came in 126 games with the Angels.

With Renfroe hitting free agency, it was hard to know exactly what kind of deal he was going to get. He profiled as a player who made lots of sense as a bounce-back candidate on a bad team and also made sense as a potential platoon player on a better team. He might not have been an everyday player but had the chance to win.

It turns out that Renfroe found the former, which is certainly better for his career. He signed a contract to join the suddenly aggressive Kansas City Royals.

Hunter Renfroe signs two-year deal to join the Royals

Renfroe had some good moments in the field and at the plate but was mostly invisible when his team needed him. He hit .171 with a .533 OPS with runners in scoring position in 2023, and that feels high. He consistently flailed at pitches nowhere near the zone in big moments and cost the Angels runs that they should've had.

Despite the down year, Renfroe got himself two guaranteed years with the ability to opt-out if he has a strong first season in Kansas City. That's a great deal for him, and a testament to the track record he had before the Angels got him. The cheap deal has to do with the fact that he was such a disappointment for the Angels.

Renfroe joins a Royals team that was in desperate need of some more power to surround players like Bobby Witt Jr., Salvador Perez, and Vinnie Pasquantino. The Angels, a team with an overcrowded outfield as is, was never going to bring Renfroe back, especially after the year he had.