By: Scott Anderson
The signing of Torii Hunter to a two year $26-million deal is significant, if nothing else, it’s a tremendous upgrade in RF for the Tigers. Last season, the Tigers RF’s combined for a .235 average with 13 HR, 66 RBI, 65 R, and 5 outfield assists. Whereas Hunter hit .313 with 16 HR, 92 RBI, scored 81 Runs and helped out with 14 outfield assists in 28 fewer games!
Everyone is talking about what a good fit he is for this team, it’s hard to argue against that. In Anaheim, Hunter was a mentor to young, talented outfielders like Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos; in Detroit, he can work with Dirks, Jackson, Garcia, Boesch, Berry, Castellanos and others. I’m not saying it will yield the same results, but learning from a consummate pro like Hunter can’t be bad.
Hunter will bat second most likely and help solidify the first half of the lineup, that also allows Dirks to slip into the bottom half of the lineup and thus help to make them more productive. With Victor Martinez coming back from injury, the Tigers really look impressive offensively.
The lone drawback I see is if this signing were to prevent the Tigers from re-signing Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez is a top priority in competing for the World Series next year and if they just spent their off season cash, then it adds an awful lot of pressure, though they should still contend. Let’s just hope that they can get that done we’ll see how exciting this team can be.