Could the Seattle Mariners be looking to solve their right field / right-handed bat situation by signing a 39-year old Torii Hunter?
The 5-time All-Star and 9-time Gold Glove winning outfielder is a free agent and is said to be considering several teams including the Mariners.
Hunter’s name has popped up before in speculation but this marks possible proof that he has received an offer from Seattle. The question remains however: Do the Mariners think that a 39-year old Hunter is the answer?
He doesn’t seem to have lost much offensively. Perhaps the thought is to platoon him in the outfield and at designated hitter. In 2014 with the Tigers, Hunter posted a .286/.319/.446 slash line with 17 HR, 83 RBI and 71 runs scored.
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In fact, over the past three seasons, he’s batted right around .300, hit around 17 homers, driven in around 85 RBI and scored around 80 runs. That kind of offensive bat is seriously needed. But what kind of a deal does he want?
Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors speculated he would receive a two-year deal worth around $22 million. That seems reasonable. But he is a potential liability in the field, posting negative dWAR in each of the past two seasons and a mark of 18 defensive runs saved below average in 2014.
So is Hunter the fallback option to signing Nelson Cruz? Perhaps. If the Mariners end up trading for Matt Kemp or Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespedes as has been thought, Hunter becomes a cheaper option at DH who can give spot starts in the field when needed.
Of course, this is all just additional speculation. Whicker himself may have also been speculating as to what options are out there for Hunter.
But it’s definitely something to keep an eye on, especially now that we are just over a week away from the Winter Meetings.