Torii Hunter is headed back to where it all began for him, where he tormented the Detroit Tigers for so long, the Minnesota Twins.
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Torii spent 1997 to 2007 in a Minnesota uniform before going to Anaheim to play for the Angels from 2008 to 2012 and, of course, the Tigers in 2013 and 2014. Hunter signed a one-year deal worth $10.5 million to go back to the Twin Cities.
Hunter was contemplating retirement immediately after the season and said he only wanted to play for the Tigers. His opinion changed about a month after the season after Detroit told him they would be passing on his services in 2015 largely because the team locked up Victor Martinez for four years at DH and they didn’t see Hunter as an everyday right fielder anymore.
Earlier in the day it looked as if the Texas Rangers would land the veteran, but apparently heart won out. The Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals were also heavily rumored to be in talks with Hunter, but he passed up chances to win in favor of likely ending his career where it started.
Torii came to Detroit in 2013 because he felt the Tigers offered him the best chance at winning a title before he retired. That did not happen and now it appears that Hunter would like his legacy to not be about a World Championship but helping to mold the young Twins toward contention after he has retired. It does not seem Minnesota will contend next year.
The former Gold Glover will likely be the team’s everyday right fielder.
When Torii Hunter does hang it up, whether after next year or a few years down the line, he will undoubtedly have a broadcast career to look forward to. Many retiring professional athletes often flock to the broadcast booth with little success but Torii has the engaging personality and baseball knowledge to be successful in his second career.
All of us here at Motor City Bengals thank Torii for his time in Detroit and wish him well except for the 18 times when the Twins and Tigers tangle.