Just before MLB entered a lockout, the Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox swapped outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr. and Hunter Renfroe, respectively.
On early Thursday morning, MLB officially entered a lockout after they could not reach an agreement with the Player’s Association on the collective bargaining agreement. But just before the deadline, the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers completed a trade.
The Red Sox got outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. back in Boston, along with Brewers prospects David Hamilton and Alex Binelas in exchange for Hunter Renfroe.
Hunter Renfroe, Jackie Bradley Jr. contract details
Renfroe is under team control until the conclusion of the 2023 season. From there, he will become an unrestricted free agent.
Last offseason, Bradley signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Brewers. After one season, he heads back to Boston, where the Red Sox will pay all of his $9.5 million salary. There is a mutual option for the 2023 season that includes an $8.5 million buyout, per Spotrac.
Brewers Trade Grade: B+
Renfroe is coming off a spectacular lone season with the Red Sox. He put up good numbers at the plate and his arm in the outfield was a huge positive for Boston. In 144 games, Renfroe slashed .259/.315/.501 while recording 31 home runs and career-highs in RBIs (96), runs scored (89) and hits (135).
The Brewers, who were eliminated in the NL Divisional Series by the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves, wanted to further bolster their outfield entering next season. That was a necessity, considering the Bradley signing did not pan out and that Christian Yelich had a concerning, unproductive season. Bringing in Renfroe is a plus for Milwaukee.
Red Sox Trade Grade: C+
Bradley, the former 2018 ALCS MVP is back in Boston. While it is a bit of a feel good reunion, the outfielder is coming off a less than stellar season. In 134 games, Bradley slashed .163/.236/.261 while posting six home runs, 29 RBI, 39 runs and 63 hits in 428 plate appearances.
The Red Sox brought back Bradley, but also acquired two prospects to add to their farm system.
Binelas currently ranks as Boston’s 16th overall prospect. The third baseman played in 36 games this season (27 in Single-A), where he recorded a .314 batting average, a 1.015 OPS, nine home runs and 27 RBI.
Hamilton, a 2019 eighth-round pick by the Brewers, plays both second base and shortstop. This past season was his first played in the minor leagues. In 101 games between High-A and Double-A, Hamilton slashed .258/.341/.419 while recording eight home runs, 43 RBI and 104 hits and 52 stolen bases. Hamilton is currently not ranked among Boston’s top-30 prospects.
This is a move by Chaim Bloom not to bring back a familiar face. Rather, it was to bolster the prospect pipeline. Red Sox fans will have to wait and see how both Binelas and Hamilton pan out.