Tigers

Source: Torii Hunter wants to play for Tigers… and the Tigers should want Torii Hunter

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Tuesday morning news broke that free agent outfielder Torii Hunter, a 37-year-old, nine-time gold glove winner was in town meeting with the Detroit Tigers on a possible deal that would bring him to the Motor City.

Hunter who is coming off a .313/.365/.451 season with the Los Angeles Angels is reportedly seeking a multi-year deal with a contending team and by all account he wants to play in Detroit.

In an blog by CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler, a source close to Hunter says “He (Hunter) wants to play there”, there meaning Detroit and that he’s only looking for a contract that’s “fair”. That “fair” deal according to Knobler could be in the area of Carlos Beltran’s two-year, $26 million dollar deal he received from the Cardinals last offseason.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com believes a multi-year deal for Hunter from the Tigers could be on the way.

Now it would seem as though the Tigers offer everything that Hunter is looking for in a deal… thus far. A multi-year contract, a chance to win a World Series and proximity to his son who just committed to playing football for Notre Dame. However Hunter offers the Tigers quite a bit in return as well which makes this match perfect for both parties involved.

Hunter still puts up good offensive numbers, especially against left-handed pitching something the Tigers have been very much in search for the past couple of seasons. Not to mention the chance to hit second again something the Tigers have been desperate for every since letting Polanco walk a few season’s ago. Hunter also still offers some semblance of speed on the base paths and a defensive upgrade in the outfield an area that the Tigers were tremendously lacking in last season. He is a huge asset in the clubhouse and could be extremely beneficial in mentoring and developing a still young Austin Jackson who certainly has the potential to be one of the best center fielder’s in the game for many years to come.

But more importantly Hunter offers flexibility in the Tigers’ front office.

Instead of trading assets from a relatively thin farm system, the Tigers get to hold on to pieces like Avisail Garcia, Nick Castellanos and Drew Smyly, something they wouldn’t be able to do in a trade. And speaking of Castellano’s and Garcia, Hunter gives the organization the opportunity to continue to develop these guys in the farm system instead of rushing them up to the Majors, a common mistake made by many organizations around the League.

Sure Hunter is 37 and could hit the wall at any time. However he would come at a workable price allowing the Tigers flexibility with their money while avoiding any long-term commitments that they will see going after a guy like Josh Hamilton (who brings his fair share of baggage) or Angel Pagan who’s a career National League player.

The Tigers will continue to have competition for Hunter. The Texas Rangers are expected to offer the veteran outfielder a deal as well which could be very enticing for him given he owns a house in the Dallas area.

h/t: CBS Sports, FOX Sports

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