Tigers land Torii Hunter with two-year contract


As (somewhat) expected, the Tigers have agreed to sign outfielder Torii Hunter to a two-year contract worth $26M. The deal is still pending a physical, but that figures to be a non-issue. Erik Boland says the Yankees never made an offer.

The Yankees had some interest in the 37-year-old Hunter but reportedly would not offer him the two guaranteed years he was seeking thanks in part to the 2014 payroll plan. He fit their right field needs well despite an expected decline in performance thanks to a career-high (by far) .389 BABIP in 2012. The salary is fine but that second year would have made me uncomfortable. The Yankees need to limit their old-guy signings to one-year at this point.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League
  • I Collect Brett Gardner Cards

    thank god.

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

    Nice move for the Tigers who majorly upgraded RF over that crap they ran out last year in Boesch, Garcia and Young who all had negative WAR.

    • Ted Nelson

      You can’t just ignore the cost.

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

        I have little doubt he will earn his $26 million.

        • Ted Nelson

          Yet you also think all the Yankees players in their early 30 will be worse in 2013 than 2012, and that roster spots you don’t even know the name of the guy filling will be worse…

  • FIPster Doofus

    I guess it’s welcome back, Ichiro.

    • RetroRob

      His price is going to surprise people, too.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Surprisingly low, I hope.

  • RetroRob

    If nothing, this could be a strong indication on salary inflation. Lots more TV revenue coming in, and an additional Wild Card as incentive. Couple that with a thin free-agent market, and we have salary inflation.

    It’s good to be Nick Swisher.

    It’s also good to be Russell Martin.

    • Ted Nelson

      It’s one guy in a thin FA market, coming off a relatively monster season. I didn’t see him getting 2 years if he stuck to his original four team plan, but opening it up to the league this doesn’t seem too crazy. I think it was a bad move for Detroit, but I don’t think one signing is an indication of major inflation.

  • Preston

    I just never liked the idea of Hunter in RF

  • LightSABR

    The merits of not signing Hunter aside, anybody else getting profoundly sick of the Yankees’ newfound thrift?

    We should be re-signing Swisher, not getting under the salary cap.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)


      The elephant in the room that everyone seems to be ignoring is that the 2013 Yankees are very likely going to be inferior to the 2012 version and maybe, depending on what Martin, Ichiro, Pettitte and Kuroda decide, by a substantial margin.

      • LightSABR

        I don’t see any way the Yankees can be as good next year as they were this year. They’re not willing to spend money on any of the free agents who might plausibly improve the club, and they don’t have the prospects to substantially improve the roster with a trade.

        So, this is what we can expect: The team re-signs Ichiro and Ibanez, neither of whom will perform as well as last year. Jeter will not be as good as he was in 2012. A-Rod and Teix will continue to decline. Swisher will be gone, and though Granderson and Cano will probably be as good as they were last year, there’s no way they’re going to be enough better to make up for all the lost offense elsewhere. So who’s going to do it? Brett Gardner?

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          They could be as good. As long as the older players don’t fall off a cliff and instead experience a more gradual decline. Gardner will definitely upgrade the defense, and help diversify the offense as well. Cano should be about as good, but could certainly be timelier with his hitting and have a bigger impact. The middle relief could potentially be better. Nova could be better. The situational hitting could be better, making the offense more efficient. There are definite aspects of the team that could improve enough without spending significant money, to offset a potential downgrade in RF and declines in some of the older players.

          There is also still a chance one or more holes aren’t filled with veterans on one year deals and instead will be filled by trading for a better player.

      • RetroRob

        I don’t think they’re ignoring it, they just don’t believe it. I suppose if the lost Martin, Pettitte and Kuroda, then it frees up money for other offers. Suddenly another player is bsck in play, such as Swisher.

        The bigger elephant, or the other elephant in the room is age. What happens if Tex takes another step down, and Jeter suddenly realizes he is a 39-year-old SS coming off a broken ankle, and the A-Rod we saw in September/October actually is what A-Rod is, meaning cooked. The Yankees have been a winning team for pretty much two decades now because they’ve been able to keep reinventing themselves, bringing in a newer, younger bat as the older ones age. It’s a balancing act that they’ve played very well. Now they have aging bats, but the Yankees own fiscal cliff of $189 seems to be restricting them from bringing in some younger players to balance out the aging players.

        1965 potential.

        • LightSABR

          I’m actually not totally opposed to a rebuilding year, but if they’re going to do it, they’d better go all out. Trade any valuable contracts for prospects, finish with a terrible record, get good draft picks, and try to build a new dynasty in a few years. I’d rather not have them do that to Mo in his last season, but other than that I’d be okay with it.

          The outcome I worry about is that until the A-Rod and Teix contracts are gone, Cashman and co. will manage the team like they’re trying to win now but not put enough resources into it for it to actually work. I’d much rather have one or two truly awful years, giving us a well-stocked farm and lots of money to spend on free agents, than five years of 85 wins, no division titles, and nothing to show for all the mediocrity.

          • RetroRob

            I lived through the rebuild years of the early ’90s and I was fine with it when it was happening because I could see what they were doing. Enjoyed watching the younger players come up, first the fringy ones like Leyritz, and then the studs from Bernie to Pettitte, Jeter, Posada, etc.

            The problem is now is if the Yankees collapsed now, they’re position prospects, and even their potential higher-end pitching prospects (Banuelos, Campos, Hensley) are still a couple years off at least. They need to patch things together for another year or two before those goes could start playing to keeps fans interest. Nothing worse than watching a losing team with a bunch of old players.

            That all said, I still believe the Yankees will be a 90+ win team next year, but the potential of bad shit happening is greater now than at any point in a few years.

            • RetroRob

              Reading all the typos in my post, it’s clear I’ve had a stroke.

        • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

          I was thinking that too. Almost everyone on this team is likely to trend downward or at best, maintain the same level of performance.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        the 2013 Yankees are very likely going to be inferior to the 2012 version

        Don’t you have to know who will be on the 2013 Yankees before you can make that statement?

        • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

          I’ll check back with you in a few months but unless they’re gonna scrap the budget and sign Greinke or clear out the farm in a trade for someone like Justin Upton or Stanton, I just don’t see many options

          • Ted Nelson

            Yeah, Upton and Stanton are the only two guys in all of MLB they can trade for!!! Super-mega-duper-stars at every position or bust dude!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Ted Nelson

          Don’t try logic on these fools.

      • dalelama

        The core is decaying at an exponential rate and the smell could become quite malodorous.

        • gc

          Stop talking about your insides like that.

        • Ted Nelson

          Such a fast rate that they won the most games in the AL last year! Moron.

        • I am not the droids you’re looking for…(I believe that children are our future)

          I don’t think you know what exponential means.

      • dan gen

        you get it..we cannot spend and the farm system sucks.

      • Ted Nelson

        You have to be fucking kidding me. No one is ignoring it. All you idiots won’t shut the fuck up about it.

        I can’t wait till they win 90+ games like every year and you losers look the fools you are.

        • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

          And Ted Nelson swoopes in just to show everyone why he’s the biggest douchebag around these parts.

          • Ted Nelson

            To show you how ridiculous your obsession with the Yankees being a bad team is.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      We should be re-signing Swisher, not getting under the salary cap.

      Provided Swish signs a reasonable deal, those are not mutually exclusive outcomes.

      However, I believe some team will offer Swisher an “unreasonable” deal.

  • Buhner’s barber

    I’m resigned to the fact that whoever plays RF next year will be an offensive downgrade from Swisher, I really think that they need an upgrade at one of C or DH, without that I really think this team is in considerable danger of missing October.

    Also, since we’re going to have 3 1st round picks in the next draft, is it feasible to go for a college SS?

  • Rey22

    No thanks on a 39 year old Hunter. More than one year was no good, plus he’s no Beltran to get paid like that.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

      He’s been worth 14.6 WAR the last 4 years so I’d say there’s a pretty good chance he’ll earn his money though I agree he will likely regress from last year and the 2nd year is somewhat of a concern since he’s already 37.

      • Ted Nelson

        So all the Yankees players will decline steeply, but Hunter will go strong till almost 40? Do you use your brain at all?

        • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

          I think Hunter will probably regress to somewhere around a 3 WAR player the next 2 years in which case he’ll improve the Tigers significantly and still be a decent value.

          Secondly, you are an asshole and if you don’t like my comments, ignore them.

          • Ted Nelson

            Hunter was about a 3 WAR player from 2004-2011 (3.03), but he will “regress” to that level at 38 and 39?

            Ok, so then why do you argue above that all of the Yankees players will regress to below their 2012 production. You literally say that all of them will.

            If you don’t see how ridiculous that is, I don’t know what to tell you. Other teams players won’t age, but all of the Yankees players will.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I would think they would go bpa, but I’d imagine they would lean towards the middle infield so you could see a SS or two drafted early if they deemed them worthy. I’d love to see them go after power. I still hate that we missed out on Joey Gallo this past year even though we still got a top 15 talent in Hensley.

  • MannyGeee

    Great deal for Detroit, as their RF was a mess last year, And fantastic deal for Torii… But goddam! 2 years at 13m each? That’s a shit ton of scratch

    I woulda been ok with 1/13. But that’s just crazy talk.

  • Knoxvillain

    I would have liked to see him one a one year deal, but I’m fine with him going to Detroit. I wouldn’t have gone over one year for him. It’s nice to see that the Yankees wouldn’t either.

  • LarryM., Fl.

    I was not enamored with a signing Hunter. We must face the facts that 2013 & 2014 may be tough years. In that the team may not make the playoffs but I believe the Yankees will make some trades if Kuroda or Pettitte do not come back. Martin would hurt a bit but he will get more than he is worth.

    Its up to Cashman to make the moves to make this team playoff worthy. Now, he has a mandate to make the team good enough to win with limited resources. The Orioles and A’s gave it a run. So should Cashman get it down. In fact if we loss out on Kuroda,Pettitte or Martin then it may provide the funds to retool a year earlier then in 2014.

  • Mike Cutler

    Andy Stankiewicz…

    • gc

      Alvaro Espinoza…

      • Deep Thoughts

        Pat Kelly…

  • Soxhata

    I don’t watch many NL games,but am wondering about Logan Morrison.He has some pop.and might play better with 50 thousand watching and cheering,instead of 800 in Miami.It would be cool to get a guy whose best years might not already be on the back of his baseball card.How about Stanton and Morrison,for Hughes Montgomery.and Cervelli.Then we could use Grandyman as trade bait.

    • Buhner’s barber

      That’ll get you Stanton’s used T-shirt

    • Steve (different one)

      This can’t be a real trade idea.

      • Soxhata

        The Marlins just gave up Reyes,Johnson,Buerle etc for a couple major league fringe players and some prospects.Hell yeah,they might wanna dump one or more of these guys.We can always sweeten the pot.I just threw out a few names.Cashman is paid to figure out the names.If he’s worth his money he would already be calling.

        • Captain

          Stanton and Morrison combined to make less than $1M last season based on Cot’s. the three that were traded made $29.75M and two of them are on very backloaded multi-year contracts. that’s why they were traded for fringe players and prospects. you can’t dump salaries when they just aren’t there.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Every time some other team signs or trades for someone, it will be a sure sign of the Yanks’ lack of investment……just like we hear every other offseason, regardless of salary limits. It’s the same old shit with some folks.

    One option is off the table. There are others, most of which else haven’t thought of on here because we’re commenters and they run the Yankees.

    • LightSABR

      I’m not a Cashman hater–much to the contrary. I even think the Pineda trade was a good idea at the time. I’m sure Cashman and co. have a plan to make the most of what they have to work with and get the team into the playoffs next year, and despite the ridiculous 2014 goal they may still pull it off.

      But I’m a Yankees fan, dangit, and seeing ownership pinch pennies turns my stomach. Swisher’s the right man for right field. Forget the luxury tax and sign him.

      • Ted Nelson

        The league has provided an incentive that owners can’t ignore. If any team goes over that limit I will be shocked, and then I will laugh at them for being total idiots.

        Swisher might not be the right man for RF regardless of budget. Depends what he commands on the open market. RF is one of the easiest positions to fill, not one where you want to overspend.

        Cashman has seemed to understand this, trading for cost controlled OFs in their primes like Swisher and Granderson )and internal options like Melky and Gardner) rather than going after the Crawfords and Werths and Bays.

      • Weeks

        You do realize that the Yanks have basically been financing the teams that have been beating them in the playoffs over the last decade through the luxury tax, don’t you? That’s what their wretched excess has wrought. Time for some fiscal sanity and a return to pinstriped dominance.

    • Ted Nelson

      Thanks for the sanity, unfortunately it is browned out by the belligerent 5th graders.

      • Ted Nelson


  • Greg

    OF of Gardner, Grandy, Ichiro, Dickerson and Mostelier, with Ibanez at DH. And hope that one or more of Heathcott, Williams or Austin is ready to replace Ichiro, Grandy and Ibanez in 2014.

    • pistol pete

      Way way too many leftys. Need a trade.