At the top of the Detroit Tigers' wish list this winter is a corner outfield bat, and Angels right fielder Torii Hunter could be the perfect fit, reports Lynn Henning of the Detroit News:
What they lacked in 2012 was one or two more steady bats. And nowhere was the void more obvious than at the Tigers' corner outfield spots... The Tigers aren't mentioning names, of course, but you can bet they have one guy tagged if the Angels don't lock him up this week: Torii Hunter.
It is difficult to believe Hunter is not the right-handed two-way cornerman the Tigers covet...
He represents everything this team craves ahead of 2013.
The 37-year-old Hunter battled back from a slow start to put together one of his best seasons in 2012. The veteran hit .313/.365/.451 with sixteen home runs on the year, breaking the .300 average threshold for the first time in his career. Hunter has also continued to play great defense since his shift to right field full-time in late 2010.
The one thing that could keep the Tigers from pursuing Hunter is if the Angels make a $13.3 million qualifying offer to the veteran outfielder before free agency kicks in at midnight Friday. The Halos are not expected to make an offer that high to Hunter, but if they do and he declines, the Tigers would be forced to give up a draft pick to sign him.