Padres to sign first-round pick Hunter Renfroe

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Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that Padres first-round pick Hunter Renfroe is in San Diego today in order to take his physical, the final step before finalizing his contract.

Renfroe, a 22-year-old outfielder out of Mississippi State, was selected No. 13 overall in last month’s First-Year Player Draft. No word yet on the terms involved, but the recommended slot value for the pick is $2.678 million.

Here’s the write-up on Renfroe from our own Matthew Pouliot:

The first of the Hunters to go off the board, Renfroe is a toolsy right fielder with the power to hit balls out of Petco but also contact issues. He hit .352/.440/.634 with 15 homers for Mississippi State this year. He may not hit for a big average in the majors, but he could be a solid enough regular anyway. He’s the first outfielder taken in the top 15 by the Padres since Thomas Howard in 1986.

Assuming everything goes off without a hitch during Renfroe’s physical, that will leave Kris Bryant (Cubs – No. 2 overall), Colin Moran (Marlins – No. 6 overall), Phil Bickford (Blue Jays – No. 10 overall), and Aaron Judge (Yankees – No. 32 overall) as the only first-round picks unsigned from this year’s draft class.

UPDATE: Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that Renfroe will receive a $2,678,000 bonus, which matches the recommended slot value.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.