Sept. 23, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Torii Hunter (48) makes the final out of the game on a running catch in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium. Angels won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Torii Hunter was the first free agent target profiled here on MCB (see John Verburg’s piece here) with the conclusion being that he would be the perfect fit for the Tigers. Hunter will be 37 years old, so age is a concern, but he’s worth at least 2.6 WAR (according to both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference) every year since 2005 (when he only played in 98 games).
He’s an above average hitter (career 111 OPS+), he’d help reverse the team’s struggles against left-handed pitching, and, although he can’t play center field anymore (and wouldn’t need to in Detroit), would be above average with the glove in right field.
Of course, simply contacting Hunter doesn’t mean the Tigers have necessarily been involved in serious negotiations with him. Corner outfield is a serious position of need, so they’re likely to contact a whole slew of candidates. And with ten teams reportedly involved, it’s still not likely that it will be Detroit that submits the winning bid.