Red Sox

Red Sox sign outfielder Hunter Renfroe

Tom Pennington
Hunter Renfroe.

The Red Sox have added an outfielder.

The team announced the signing of 28-year-old Hunter Renfroe on a one-year deal. According to a major league source, Renfroe will make a $3.1 million salary with potential bonuses that could push the deal to $3.7 million.

Renfroe is coming off a disappointing offensive season in which he hit .156 with a .252 OBP and .393 slugging, cracking eight homers in 42 regular-season games for the Rays. He was 4-for-23 (.174) with two home runs and a double in 12 playoff appearances. Tampa Bay acquired him in a trade after the 2019 season, in which he hit .216/.289/.489 with a career-best 33 homers in 494 plate appearances for San Diego.

Renfroe has been a largely all-or-nothing masher for most of his career, with prodigious power — one homer per 16.4 plate appearances ― and a 28 percent strikeout rate en route to a career line of .228/.290/.486. However, he’s been a force against lefties, to the tune of .258/.339/.572. Since 2017, he ranks 14th in the majors in slugging (.569) and 24th in OPS (.907) against southpaws. Against righties, he has a career line of .216/.268/.449.

Defensively, Renfroe is a corner outfielder with the arm to have spent most of his time in right field, a finalist for a Gold Glove there with the Padres in 2019. He offers the Sox a righthanded complement to lefties Andrew Benintendi and Alex Verdugo (and, if the Sox re-sign him, Jackie Bradley Jr.).

The Red Sox drafted Renfroe — who became a free agent this month when the Rays declined to tender him a contract — in the 31st round of the 2010 draft as a catcher, but could not sign him away from a commitment to Mississippi State, where he transitioned to outfield. Three years later, he was taken 13th overall by the Padres, with whom he spent the first seven years of his pro career. (Boston had the No. 7 pick in that year’s draft, but instead chose high school lefty Trey Ball.)

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He has appeared in three games at Fenway Park and batted in two, going 1-for-5 this past Aug. 11 with a two-RBI double, then 3-for-6 with a double and two home runs in a 17-8 Tampa rout on Aug. 13.

The Red Sox 40-man roster is now at 40. The team made the announcement minutes before a scheduled press availability with chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom connected to the Winter Meetings.

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