Torii Hunter: 2015 Free Agent Spotlight


In our quest to find the next big pick up for the Mariners in 2015’s free agent market, we take a quick stop in Detroit to take a look at veteran center fielder Torii Hunter. Hunter has been around the league for quite some time now, and the Mariners are a valid option for him to land next year.  Let’s jump right in.


He’s an incredibly reliable player. To find the last time he played under 140 games in a season, we have to go all the way back to 2005, when he played 98 games. Even in that season, he won a Gold Glove award. In 2007, he only missed two regular season games.

Speaking of Gold Gloves, he won nine straight from 2001 to 2009. He’s an incredibly dependable fielder, and carries a career .991 fielding percent.

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Putting that in easier terms, he makes an error on less than one out of every hundred balls hit his way. Impressive.

On the batting side, Hunter is a righty, which is what the Mariners are looking for. In the past two years in Detroit, he’s batted an impressive .295, with 83 RBIs and 17 home runs.

The Mariners could use a consistent hitter that Hunter could bring to the table. More than anything, the M’s need a player that can get on base consistently and score runs, and Hunter would provide that.


Hunter is getting old. He’s 38 right now, and that is right about the time that baseball players decide to call it quits. Yes there are a few exceptions (See Jamie Moyer, who played his last game at almost 50 years of age), but most athletes retire before 40. Best-case scenario, Hunter has two more years of good baseball under his belt.

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As an outfielder, Hunter isn’t the fastest car on the track anymore. The M’s have several options in the outfield currently, and adding another starting-caliber outfielder, and one that isn’t particularly fast anymore, isn’t the direction the Mariners seem to be heading right now.

Hunter also has a pretty big price tag. He made $14 million last year, and would probably expect at least that much next year. If the M’s were to chase him, I wouldn’t offer any more than $14 million and a one-year contract.

So, where does he fit in?

If Hunter were to come to the Mariners, he would undoubtedly want to take the starting center fielder spot, taking Austin Jackson‘s place. The M’s seem to like A-Jax, so Hunter would have to DH if he wanted a spot on the starting roster.

While I have my reservations about starting Jackson on a daily basis, I’m just as concerned about starting a 38-year-old player on a daily basis.

Because he doesn’t have the power that a starting DH needs, Hunter would probably fall down to a reserve spot on the roster, to fill in when Jackson needs a day off.


I wouldn’t mind picking up Hunter as an extra piece, if the price were right. He adds consistency to the batting lineup where there isn’t much currently, and wouldn’t be a bad six-spot in the lineup behind Kyle Seager.