Outfielder Torii Hunter will finish his big league career where it started. Hunter has reportedly signed a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Minnesota Twins.
Hunter was a first round draft pick of the Twins in 1993. He made his big league debut with the club late in 1997 and soon became a fixture in centerfield winning 7 of his 9 career Gold Gloves over parts of 11 seasons. Hunter signed with the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent prior to 2008 and spent four seasons with them before moving on to Detroit where he spent the last two seasons with the Tigers. Hunter has played in the post-season on eight occasions in his career (four times with the Twins and twice each with the Angels and Tigers), but has never played in the World Series.
Hunter, who will turn 40 next July, hit .286 with 17 HR and 83 RBI with the Tigers in 2014. He enters the 2015 season with an offensive mark of 2,327 hits, a .279 lifetime batting average, 331 HR and 1310 RBI. In addition to eight post-season appearances and 9 Gold Gloves, he has been named to the AL All-Star Team five times. I don’t think he quite makes it to Cooperstown, but he’ll get some votes.
Even though Hunter has lost a step, he is still a solid player and will help the Twins both on the field and inside the clubhouse.
Last October, Hunter entered the political arena cutting a radio ad for Republican Asa Hutchinson’s successful bid in the Arkansas gubernatorial race.
UPDATE: Hunter’s support for Hutchinson came up during his press conference yesterday as did his opposition to same-sex marriage by Mike Berardino of The St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Arkansas native answered the question about his support for Hutchinson, but when the gay marriage question came up Hunter became more defensive and, moments later, would call Berardino “a prick” four times.
I suspect that while Hunter will stand by his opposition to gay marriage, he will apologize to Berardino for his out of character behavior.