MLB Rumors: Torii Hunter to Sign With Detroit Tigers?

By Chris Katje
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Torii Hunter was in Detroit Tuesday to meet with Detroit Tigers officials about the possibility of signing in the Motor City. The fifteen year MLB veteran is a free agent looking for a place to call home, after the Anaheim Angels failed to submit a significant offer to retain Hunter’s services.

Detroit appears to be the front runner in signing Hunter. The Los Angeles Dodgers have also expressed interest, and would appeal to Hunter since he lives in the Dallas area. One thing going for Detroit is their close proximity to South Bend, Indiana, where Hunter’s son will be enrolled soon at Notre Dame.

After getting swept in the World Series, the Tigers have not been secretive about their desire for outfield help. The Tigers are looking for a decent hitting outfielder, who can also provide some much needed defense. In Hunter, the Tigers could have the perfect solution.

Hunter is known for his defensive capabilities in the outfield. The veteran won the Gold Glove Award nine times, from 2001-2000, consecutively. Last season with the Angels, Hunter proved he could still put up big offensive numbers. Hunter batted .313, with 16 home runs, and 92 RBIs.

Hunter could bat second in Detroit, like he did with the Angels. The outfielder would likely follow Austin Jackson and bat before the power trio of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez. Hunter would also bring a bit of speed to the lineup. Although the 37 year old has slowed down a little, he did have nine stolen bases last season. In eight of his fifteen seasons, Hunter has stolen double digit bases.

In his career, Hunter is a .277 hitter, with 297 home runs and 1143 RBIs over 1947 games played. Hunter also appeared in 34 postseason games throughout his career, where he has an average of .305.

The Angels offered Hunter $5 million for an additional year. Hunter made $18.5 million last season, and is expected to get a deal worth close to $20 million for two years from any team seeking his services in the 2013 season. Detroit made the right move by at least attempting to sign Hunter. Hunter’s free agency decision is expected soon.

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