The Reds announced that Hunter Renfroe, who was designated for assignment earlier this week, has been released. He’ll head to the open market and will be free to sign with any club.
Renfroe, 31, began the year with the Angels, hitting 19 home runs but otherwise producing underwhelming results at the plate. His .242/.304/.434 slash line translated to a wRC+ of 98, indicating he was just below average overall.
As the Halos fell out of contention in August, Renfroe was one of six impending they put on waivers, hoping for other clubs to take on their contracts as a way to save money and dip under the luxury tax. The Reds took a flier on him but Renfroe’s production tailed off significantly after switching jerseys, as he hit .128/.227/.205 for Cincinnati. That was in a small sample of 44 plate appearances in which he had a .154 batting average on balls in play but the club nonetheless decided to move on.
The slugger is making $11.9MM this year and had about $1.98MM left on his deal when the Reds decided to grab him. That will now go down as a sunk cost, as they will remain on the hook for the approximately $702K left to be paid out. No club was willing to absorb that by claiming him off waivers but perhaps one will be willing to sign him now that they would only be responsible for the prorated league minimum, with that amount subtracted from what the Reds pay.
He’s not having his best season and wouldn’t be postseason eligible for any signing club, but perhaps someone is willing to give him a shot, hoping to give their lineup a boost for the final few weeks. Renfroe has 177 homers in his career and an overall batting line of .239/.300/.478 for a wRC+ of 106. It’s a fairly limited profile since he doesn’t get on base much, steal many bags or provide quality glovework, but many clubs have been intrigued by the power. Since 2019, he’s played for the Padres, Rays, Red Sox and Brewers, before bouncing to the Angels and Reds this year. If he doesn’t find a new club in the next week or so, he can at least start to gauge the interest level for this winter, when he will be a free agent.