Rangers trying to sign the ageless Torii Hunter
By David Cash
The Texas Rangers are aggressively trying to sign free-agent Torii Hunter this offseason. The Rangers are not alone though, the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals are also trying to acquire his services this Hot Stove season.
It might not make sense at first glance, trying to sign someone who is nearly 40 years old to join your club, but Torii Hunter has seemed to defy age over his career. Also, with the departure of Alex Rios the Rangers need another outfielder and preferably someone who can hit the ball.
Last season with the Detroit Tigers Torii Hunter had a batting line of .286/.319/.446/.765 with 33 doubles, 2 triples, 17 home runs and 83 RBI over 142 games/549 at-bats. To put that perspective Adrian Beltre lead in batting average with .324 and Leonys Martin was in second with .274. Beltre lead in home runs with 19 and in RBI with 77.
So at 39 years of age, Torii Hunter is still playing like a guy in his prime. Now he might be the best right fielder in the these days his bat does have enough value to over look that. And that’s what the Rangers are hoping for. Last season he played 128 games in right field and only 7 times at DH.
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If the Texas Rangers do sign him they utilize him more at DH and move Shin-Soo Choo to right and recall Michael Choice to play in left field. They also have Mitch Moreland and Jake Smolinski they could use in the outfield. Last season the Choo took a majority of the DH duties appearing in the spot 44 times last season. Mitch Moreland was in the designated hitter spot second most at 20 times last season.
As long as the price is right signing Torii Hunter would be an excellent acquisition this season. It makes sense for the Texas Rangers and also puts Hunter closer to his family. Currently his children live in the area and attend school in the Dallas area. The winter meetings are next week and this is usually the time a lot of moves are made, expect suitors to aggressively try to lock him up sometime this week.
Video: 09/22/14 Torii’s leaping catch
Torii Hunter races back on a laser from Jose Abreu and makes a great leaping catch in the right-center gap to steal a hit