Friday, November 23, 2007

Hunter Gets His Halo

In a move that was surprising for a number of reasons, Torii Hunter agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Angels late Wednesday night on a five-year deal worth $90 million.

Color me dumbfounded. For one thing, the Angels had not really been mentioned as a serious suitor for Hunter. Their outfield was already crowded with Vladimir Guerrero, Gary Matthews Jr., Garrett Anderson, Reggie Willits and Juan Rivera, and now they seem to have compounded that problem. (Someone's got to be available... Willits is an intriguing potential trade piece, as is Rivera.)

Furthermore, it's somewhat shocking that Hunter signed a deal so quickly. In fact, here's what he told the Star Tribune earlier this week with regards to signing a contract:
"I promise you, it won't be this week," he said. "I don't want to think about that while I'm eating turkey. I want to spend the whole weekend relaxing with my family."
Of course, this just confirms something most of us already knew -- Hunter isn't always totally forthright and honest.

The final reason that the deal is surprising is the sheer amount of money involved. Most projections had Hunter signing a deal somewhere in the range of five years/$75 million; for the Angels to commit nearly $100 million to a 32-year-old center fielder seems questionable a best. But hey, it's their problem now.

The writing has been on the wall for some time that Hunter was on his way out the door, and I'm glad he signed elsewhere so quickly so Bill Smith can put his full emphasis on finding a replacement.

I've always liked watching Torii play and I'm happy to see him haul in such a huge contract. I look forward to watching him on March 31, 2008, when the Angels coincidentally open their schedule at the Metrodome against the Twins.

5 comments:

BD said...

Given the $$$, I'd hope Twins fans give the team a break on the griping about not resigning Hunter.

He had NO intention of giving the Twins the type of 'hometown discount' they'd need to make his salary fit into the overall plan. What's more, IMO, he knew all along that the Twins wouldn't - and shouldn't - pay him the kind of money he wanted.

Consequently, all his whining & moaning during the season was about putting the blame for his departure on the Twins.

While he's not 100% responsible for it, to the extent the Twins have guys like Santana openly griping about the team's "commitment", Hunter's had a hand in creating that environment.

Anonymous said...

I think Tori is a great fit with the team that took money from Anahiem to build a stadium and promised to keep Anahiem in the name of the team, and then weaseled out the agreement. The Los Angeles Angels "of Anahiem", a monument to the fact that you can't trust anybody in this business.

doubleplusgood said...

i was suprised to see Hunter to sign with the Angels. i was disappointed that the Twins lost their clubhouse leader. That said, for the Twins to even come close to offering that kind of money would have been a horrible panic move that would have doomed the Twins in the future. i love Hunter. I'm going to out myself as a Packer fan (I'm all T-Wolves and Twins). Sorry born into it. This reminds me of the Packers not giving Ahman Green more than a minimum incentive laden offer this past offseason. He got crazy money and good for him, but Houston f'd up and way overpaid. Same thing here. The Twins can now secure their nucleus for years to come. Throw some of that money at Santana. it'll be worth it. He's a better trading chip down the line if he's under contract for multiple years, so where's the downside to paying him big money? It's going to suck without Hunter and the Twins will feel it in the short term, but Bill Smith made the smart move. A better question is would Terry Ryan have made the same move? Food for thought.

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