In the moments after the Detroit Tigers sudden ouster from the 2014 playoffs nearly three weeks ago, Torii Hunter deflected questions on whether he’d retire. The veteran simply stating he was tired and needed to discuss the future with his wife and answer those questions in about a month.
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It took him less than a month to lean toward sticking around.
In an article by Chris Iott of MLive, Torii is leaning toward playing in 2015 and the Tigers are his top choice, though he knows that might not be in the cards.
"“I really want to play with the Tigers, but if not I understand,” Hunter said Wednesday in a text exchange with MLive.com. “Baseball will keep going with or without you.”With that said, Hunter said he hasn’t made a final decision regarding his future.“I haven’t even thought about it,” Hunter said. “I’m traveling as we speak to watch my three boys play college football. There’s definitely a good chance I will play again though.”"
The 39-year-old former Gold Glove outfielder has definitely lost range in the outfield. Whether he resigns here or goes elsewhere, he cannot be counted on to be a full-time outfielder. Torii’s best bet may be as DH in the twilight of his career.
This would probably be an intriguing prospect for the Tigers should they decide the price tag for incumbent DH, Victor Martinez, is too high. They would likely get Hunter at a good price and only for one year, two factors that will not happen in a possible V-Mart deal.
Nonetheless, I expect the Tigers to resign Martinez and allow Hunter to leave. The corner outfield spots appear to be crowded with J.D. Martinez, Andy Dirks, Rajai Davis, Tyler Collins, and Steven Moya figuring in the mix for left and right field. With V-Mart back there would be no use for Hunter.
Time will tell, however. At last week’s press conference, Dave Dombrowski did not tip his hand toward how he is leaning on the team’s free agents. Those decisions will arrive at the conclusion of the World Series.