Torii Hunter is the latest name to be added to the discussion of who could be the right fielder for the New York Yankees in 2013. Various reports indicate that the Yankees have interest in the 37-year-old Hunter.
Does Hunter make sense for the Yankees? Yes, in several ways.
The Yankees seem likely to let Nick Swisher, the incumbent right fielder, go. Ichiro Suzuki is also a free agent and, while he might be preferable to Swisher for a variety of reasons, Hunter would be an attractive candidate for the Bronx.
River Avenue Blues likes the idea:
He’s been a consistently above-average hitter throughout his career though, plus he offers solid defense in right field. The Yankees love strong character as well, and Hunter is widely considered to be one of the best guys in the game. He’s a fit and someone we will hear an awful lot about in the coming weeks.
Hunter hit .313/.365/.451 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI in 140 games with the Angels this past season, the final year of his five-year, $90 million contract. He is a nine-time Gold Glove winner who, while not the star center fielder he once was, is still an excellent outfielder.
A right-handed bat like Hunter could help balance a Yankees lineup that has Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner and, possibly, Raul Ibanez from the left side.
There are also reports that the Angels are not expected to make Hunter a qualifying offer, meaning any team that signs him will not have to surrender a draft pick.