At the age of 39, Torii Hunter, completing his second season with the Detroit Tigers, is hitting the open market with plenty of interest in his services. Right now, the closest teams to him are the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals.
Hunter did hint after the Tigers lost in the ALCS that he might be considering retirement, but that doesn’t seem to be the case about a month later with plenty of teams thinking about trying to sign him. The center fielder has done very well for the Tigers over the last two seasons. He was an All-Star in 2013 and finished with 17 home runs and 83 RBIs last season, hitting .286 with a .765 OPS.
Hunter has played for the Twins in the past, spending the first 11 seasons of his career with the team. Later he had some very good season for the Angels, winning some more Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger awards before finding himself still hitting very well and powerfully enough for the Tigers to show interest in him and sign him.
The Kansas City Royals are looking for just that in right field. Norichika Aoki will probably go somewhere else, and he hit just one home run last season anyway, making Hunter a much preferred option. Hunter made $14 million with the Tigers last season. He’ll make a lot less on his next deal, but how much is he willing to leave on the table?
That will probably the main issue as he explores his chances with the Twins, who won’t be paying him more than half that money. Hunter signed his previous free agency deals quickly, finishing the speculations in November. Maybe this year it’ll take a bit longer, but at his age, being patient is something he’s used to.