According to a Major League Baseball source, free agent outfielder Torii Hunter and the 2012 American League Champion Detroit Tigers have agreed on a deal that will suit the four-time all-star up in Tigers blue and orange beginning in 2013.
The contract is reportedly for 2 years and $26 million and is pending until the nine-time Gold Glove winner passes a physical. Hunter is now a 37-year old veteran who has played 14 MLB seasons and maintains a lifetime average of .277 with 297 homers and a highlight reel of amazing catches.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were rumored last week to be pursuing Hunter the hardest, however the Tigers wound up swooping in and snatching right out of the L.A. area for the next two seasons. The Los Angeles Angels (team he played for the last five seasons) declined to make him a qualifying offer of $13.3 million.Since the Angels failed to extend a qualifying offer to Hunter, the Tigers will not have to give the Angels any type of draft-pick compensations after the deal is completed.
The New York Yankees were also in the mix to acquire Hunter’s service,s however, according to a source the Yankees were only prepared to offer Hunter a one-year contract and that wasn’t enough for him as the entire time Hunter was seeking two years at the least.
Last season Hunter hit .313 with 16 home runs and 92 runs batted-in. Hunter will be a terrific fit with the Tigers and their lineup that now features the 2012 AL Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, perennial 30-homer guy Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez who missed the entire 2012 season with a knee injury and Hunter hitting somewhere near the top of the order setting the table for those three. This deal also pretty much signifies that 2012 ALCS MVP Delmon Young‘s days are over in Detroit as he will look to sign elsewhere during the free agency period.