Taking a look at the outfielders that the Los Angeles Angels placed on waivers
Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today
22 days ago
The Los Angeles Angels decided to dump some salary as their playoff hopes started to drain away, with ESPN’s Jeff Passan reporting that the club was putting RHP Lucas Giolito, LHP Matt Moore, RHP Reynaldo López, and outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Randal Grichuk all on waivers. Both Moore and Renfroe started the season with the Angels while Giolito, López, and Grichuk were all acquired just under a month ago at the trade deadline.
Because the trade deadline has come and gone, each player can be picked up by any team in reverse order in the standings but they will have to take on the remaining salary of each player for the rest of the year. There are quite a few teams on the playoff bubble in both the AL and NL and each player put on waivers is free agent eligible this offseason, so they will each be considered a rental.
For the Blue Jays, the club is currently outside the playoff picture and sits 2.5 games back of the third Wild Card spot behind the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros. As the club faces a gauntlet of AL East teams to finish out the year, adding another bat or two could go a long way for a team that has struggled with scoring runs with runners on base and currently has Matt Chapman and Bo Bichette on the IL.
In his last year of arbitration, Renfroe has solid power from the right side but has struggled with putting the ball in play at times, owning a .239 average and a .725 OPS on the season.
His 18 home runs would sit tied for second on the team behind only Vladimir Guerrero Jr. while his 52 RBIs would rank fifth, just above Danny Jansen with the Mississippi product also adding 30 doubles so far this season. Split stat-wise, Renfroe has better numbers off of right-handed pitchers (.746 OPS vs. .660) and slots in at right field defensively, amassing a -7 DRS.
Renfroe has struggled as of late (.220 average through the last 30 games) but a change of scenery may do him some good, especially since he owns a .368/.405/.790 slash line with a 1.194 OPS through ten games through his career at the Rogers Centre.
Fans may wince when they hear Randal Grichuk’s name, as the former Blue Jay struggled at times in the batter’s box during his four years North of the border, but the outfielder was finding a groove prior to being traded to the Angels earlier this month.
With the Rockies, Grichuk amassed a .861 OPS with eight home runs and 27 RBIs on a non-competitive Colorado squad while hitting for consistency with his .308 average. Since the trade, things have gone a bit sour, as Grichuk has gone 13 for 93 in the batter’s box (.140) and struck out 26% of the time as a member of the Angels and hasn’t been able to replicate his success from earlier in the season. One positive is that the right-handed batter has mashed southpaws this year, posting an impressive .323 average and a .947 OPS through 93 at-bats. He missed some time on the IL earlier this year when in Colorado but has been healthy the rest of the way.
Defensively, Grichuk has split his time across all three positions but slotted in left field since heading to California, committing just two errors on the season with six outfield assists.
Conclusion for the Blue Jays
The biggest factor for this whole scenario will be whether Renfroe or Grichuk will be available when the Blue Jays step up to the podium on the reverse order claims. Playoff bubble teams such as the Red Sox, Twins, Marlins, Cubs, Reds, Diamondbacks, and Giants will all get a chance to claim either player prior to the Jays.
Salary won’t necessarily be an issue for a club already past the CBT and considering both players are free agents this offseason, the commitment isn’t high as well for the front office and player. The biggest question mark may be where they fit on the roster, as the Jays will likely use either player in a DH spot while rotating defensively as needed, although neither player has excelled on the field this season. Considering the rosters expand on September 1st and the Jays will be able to add another position player, the only hurdle roster-wise will be on the 40-man, with one player needing to be removed internally prior to adding any waiver wire claim.
It might be highly unlikely either player will be available when the Jays get a chance on the waiver wire but stranger things have happened, and a change of scenery for either Grichuk or Renfroe could be the spark the club needs to help for a postseason push.
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