Rays Designate OF Hunter Renfroe for Assignment

Hunter Renfroe with San Diego Padres in 2019. Photo by Brent Clark/CSM/Shutterstock (10319052s)

The defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays decided to designate outfielder Hunter Renfroe for assignment over the weekend just one year after he was the team’s biggest acquisition in a deal that sent away outfielder Tommy Pham.

The slugging outfielder was expected to become a solid presence in the heart of the Rays’ lineup in 2020, but things didn’t go as planned for the Mississippi native.

Renfroe struggled, batting just .156 with 8 home runs in 42 games with the team in the shortened 2020 season. He didn’t do much better in Tampa’s run to the World Series, batting only .174 with two home runs.

The Rays wanted to clear space on their 40-man roster in order to add a trio of prospects composed of Josh Lowe, Drew Strotman, and Taylor Walls, and Renfroe got the short end of the stick.

The team now must find a trade partner for the 28-year-old outfielder, release him, or outright him to the Minor Leagues if Renfroe accepts, which he is unlikely to do.

It’s an unhappy end to the short marriage between Renfroe and the Rays, and it looks as if he’ll try to get back on track elsewhere in the league in the 2021 season.