Found November 15, 2012 on hardballchat.com:
Mlb_a_hunter_300
The Detroit Tigers signed free agent outfielder Torii Hunter to a two year contract worth $26 million on Wednesday, filling the need for both a right handed bat and everyday right fielder. But did the Tigers overpay to sign Hunter, who will turn 38-years-old during the 2013 MLB season and is coming off of one of his worst seasons in terms of home run numbers? Yes, Hunter made up for his 16 home runs by hitting a career high .313, but can Detroit count on Hunter to be that same player again for the next two years? Not only was his .313 batting average a career high, but it was the first time in his career that Hunter has ever hit better than .300 in his 14 year big league career. While he may be able to replicate those numbers again, the odds are against it happening. Let me make the fact clear that I do not see Hunter as a bad signing. The Tigers were horrible against left handed pitching, especially throughout the playoffs. Hunter should help that, as he is a career .289 hitter against lefties, while the rest of the team batted just .253 against them in 2012. Hunter will also be a defensive upgrade. Even at 37, he is still an above average right fielder. Most of all, Hunter is a great clubhouse guy. He will make young outfielders in Detroit such as Austin Jackson, Quinton Berry and Avisail Garcia all better players. Hunter will serve as an excellent mentor to all of the young players in Detroit. But we are also talking about a player who is losing bat speed and striking out more often. Having seen his batting average decrease in the three previous seasons prior to hitting for a career high in 2012, Hunter may never be the player he once was with the Minnesota Twins, or even the Los Angeles Angels the past few years. After all, Father Time is the one opponent with whom none of us can compete. The Angels did not even make Hunter a qualifying one year offer of $13.3 million, meaning they so did not want him to accept that unlikely offer that they did not even care about trying to procure compensatory draft picks for when he leaves. I am not sure if I am reading too much into that, but this is a team who truly had no intention of welcoming him back for even one more season, granted, he was the No. 4 outfielder as the season and the young players progressed throughout 2012. Again, I am not saying that signing Hunter was a bad decision for the Tigers. I would never question general manager Dave Dombrowski after watching him work his magic for so many years. If he jumped on signing Hunter so quickly, he probably knows what he is doing. I just didn’t think Hunter would cost the Tigers that much. That is all I am saying. Truthfully, I hope that I am wrong and Hunter has an even better season with Detroit in 2013 than he did with Los Angeles in 2012. It is not as if it would be the first time I was wrong about a player and his contract.   The post MLB Rumors: Did Detroit Tigers Overpay To Sign Torii Hunter? appeared first on Hardball Chat Baseball Blog.
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