Merlo joins the team as a replacement player for new captain Nic Maddinson, who will miss the first couple of BBL|11 games due to Australia A commitments.
He scored 47 off just 28 deliveries in a practice match today against the Hobart Hurricanes at the CitiPower Centre.
The 22-year-old is a middle order batter and medium pace bowler, who previously represented cross-town rivals Melbourne Stars in five matches across BBL|08 and BBL|09.
He has featured for Victoria in both the Marsh Sheffield Shield and One-Day Cup this season.
“I’m really excited to be joining the Renegades. I’ve had a taste of the Big Bash over the last couple of seasons and I feel like my game has developed a lot over the last 12 months in the Victorian set-up,” Merlo said.
“I’ll be trying to make the most of any chance I get to play and contribute to the team however I can.”
Merlo scored a century for Victoria in the One-Day Cup in early 2021 and a Sheffield Shield half-century a fortnight ago.
He has previously representing Australia at underage level.
“Jono’s one of the rising stars coming through the Victorian program and we’re confident he can have an impact for the Renegades,” Head Coach, David Saker, said.
“We see him as a player who can slot into the middle order for us, who also offers a handy bowling option if required and is a strong fielder.”
Melbourne Renegades BBL|11 season-opener
Melbourne Renegades v Adelaide Strikers
Tuesday 7 December