If Tigers want Torii, Hunter wants to play

DETROIT — If the Tigers want Torii Hunter back for 2015, he wants to play another year. If Detroit doesn’t want him back, then he might have a decision to make on whether he wants to keep playing.

At this point, he does not have an answer.

“If the Tigers want me back, we will work that out hopefully,” Hunter said in a text message. “Other than that, I’m still thinking about my situation.”

That thought process could last another few weeks.

The situation has changed little from a week ago, after the Tigers were swept out of the postseason by the Orioles in the Division Series. That was the first time the 39-year-old Hunter said retirement was a serious consideration, noting he was physically and mentally tired.

Hunter is up for free agency, his two-year contract expiring at season’s end. The Tigers have exclusive rights to try to work out a new deal until five days after the end of the World Series. Hunter can talk with other teams in that five-day period, but cannot exchange salary proposals.

Depending on what Hunter decides, that last part might be moot.

“I don’t know,” Hunter said. “I’m going to let my mind and body heal for about four weeks.”

Hunter plans to spend his fall as a football parent, traveling to watch his kids. Torii Jr. is an emerging redshirt freshman wide receiver at Notre Dame. Another son, Monshadrik “Money” Hunter, is a sophomore defensive back at Arkansas State.

The Tigers front office has been pretty much quiet since season’s end. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski is expected to have his usual end-of-season interview session with reporters at some point next week, a little later than normal but earlier than he hoped this year.

Manager Brad Ausmus raved over the final weeks of the season about Hunter’s impact in the clubhouse and at the plate, where he enjoyed a late-season rejuvenation. He finished with a .286 average, 33 doubles, 17 home runs and 83 RBIs. His run production has almost identical to last year despite fewer plate appearances. His .765 OPS was a 35-point drop from last year but matched his 2011 rate.

The Tigers have a slugging right-field prospect on the way in Steven Moya, who tore up Eastern League pitching at Double-A Erie. He could bypass Triple-A Toledo and contend for a roster spot next spring, but his ascension isn’t guaranteed. Right field could be a landing spot for Rajai Davis if the Tigers acquire a full-time center field, but there’s no clear answer for that. Either Hunter or Davis, both of whom bat right-handed, could form a platoon with the left-handed hitting Moya if the Tigers wanted to ease him in.

62 Comments

Davis played 75 games in RF for the Jays .JD has showed a powerful arm and has played 46 games in RF ( 94 in the Minors)
While Hunter cost a lot to the Tigers with his glove, his bat was good. But DH is taken, we hope. If Victor walk away, Hunter could replace him and help Moya.

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As far as I’m concerned there’s a spot on the bench for Torii. He’d be slated as a backup OFer along with Dirks. Should help him out with the physical drain. How much does he want though? He isn’t worth more than 10M but he’s probably worth more than 5M.

Heck if DD wants to go cheap – and I don’t want him to – he could sign Torii…and pass on a legit CF (use Rajai for CF) and Vmart (use Torii to DH most days) and just go with JD, Rajai, Andy, Torii and either Moya/Carrera/another youngster in the OF. Heck if you resign DK then you have another OF option.

Yikes, if Torii signs it pretty much has to be as 4th OFer. And he’d be a good one. But Rajai is no better than a 4th OFer too. You could keep them both but please don’t make either one a regular.

i agree, but you know it’s entirely possible they do though

This KC BAL game is a good one

KC’s pitching can’t hold the O’s bats down

One possible bad call handed KC four runs and the game

3 runs with the 2B

When this guy is “ON”–he is a crackerjack.
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/10/free-agent-profile-colby-rasmus.html
A good CFer who hits with power from the left side and runs the bases well.
Duh!
I do expect DD is going to give Daniel Fields a good look next spring, but even though Rasmus is a free agent he would be one that is not offered a QO and won’t cost a draft pick. Don’t be surprised if he becomes a Tiger and a fan favourite if he does.

That article doesn’t really come across as a ringing endorsement.
My concern with adding a bat with “pop” is the large dimensions of Comerica Park. He’s been playing in a homer haven. Add in the K’s and you have a failure in the making. And for that reason, I’m out. Sorry, wife is watching Shark Tank right now. And Dan, I like how I can be comfortable disagreeing with you. That’s a good quality to have.

Rich, you are a scholar and a gentleman, a fine husband and father, a great baseball and and I am sure a really good first baseman!
Cheers.

Am I missing something what was wrong with Rajai? He made nice plays and he wasn’t an automatic out at the plate not to mention the speed on the base paths. Not to mention eont a Dirks be back and he is capable in the outfield including center?

He cant hit RHP and he was signed as platoon player. But I said it one month ago, they could go Dirks, Davis and JD( RF) with Hunter as 4th OF.
BP , bench and extend Price

Vs righties .247 ..4 hr.. ..13 2b….33 RBI….
Vs lefties ..356…4hr…14 2b…18 rbi’s
.
Yes batting average quite a bit less but more productive hitting righties. So I don’t see the big problem. But I think your tight using the 4 of those guys would be a good idea.

on a side note, could the RBI’s be a function of PAs and/or lineup position?

Whelp it’s looking like KC might represent the AL in the WS this year. Never thought i’d hear them talked bout the way Sheffield and Pedro just talked about them. Game 3 is going to have fans going n-u-t-s and deservedly so.

Two great teams. Everyone in baseball is talking about them.

I’m surprised that you guys don’t attach more significance to the CF position. It’s crucial and Rajai is a stop-gap CFer at best. He is aging and his speed is diminishing. He is not a great hitter.
We are witnessing what CF means in the current league championship series. Jones and Cain are two of the best.
As to Rasmus, I would like to have someone that can steal some bases but his power is not to be denied. Evan at Comerica (which is only half the games) he can reach the seats. He has a very nice swing and is capable of hitting for a good deal of distance. Regardless of the park and its dimensions we need a LHB with power in this lineup.
Especially if Victor goes.
I see Rasmus heading into a breakout year. If Dombrowski were to to go for him I would not be disappointed. He is 28 years old.
Speaking of crucial, we need to be stronger (all around stronger) up the middle and CF, SS and catcher hurt us all year. Avila has to be replaced. He just doesn’t hit enough and his strikeouts are at times debilatating at the bottom of the lineup.
I think his future is at best as a seasoned backup catcher with a LHB for late in games. His career as a regular is most certainly over.
Iglesias is not an automatic solution this coming year but I would take him over anything we presently by far. Kinsler should be able to hold the fort another year and might actually get a little better.

if you had to choose a good catcher or a good CF for them to sign which would it be?

Avila:
The Tigers have a team option. If they exercise it, that would push Avila to play no mater what.
If they dont, that would be out of line with what they call loyalty( most of the times to the wrong players ). And would need to non tender him if they want to negotiate a performance/games played related contract
Russell Martin is a FA but the Tigers have avoided the big names FA( Victor was far second behind Dunn for DH,maybe Nathan was the exception)

Cafardo:
“Victor Martinez, DH, free agent — This may not be a J.J. Hardy situation where he signs before free agency. But we do know this, according to a major league source familiar with Martinez: He prefers to work something out with the Tigers, so they will get first crack at him. If he elects free agency, comfort of the workplace will be extremely important. So you wonder about New York and whether we could be looking at more like Baltimore, Toronto, Chicago, or Texas. Suffice it to say, the Tigers would like to get it done sooner rather than later”

Center Fielder would be my preference. A trade for a catcher if necessary (McCann might cut the mustard this next year) would be a bit easier. I think they could possibly use Avila as a backup in a limited role.
The kindest thing to do would be to trade him to an AL team looking for a LHB DH and 1st sacker. Would a return to his home state make any sense?

Mark Simon ‏@msimonespn · 52m52 minutes ago
Royals bullpen this postseason
2.30 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .551 opp OPS, 6.9% hard-hit rate

So, it can be done in 2014. You can build a good bullpen

They’ll need to sign Victor before they do anything. Hard to reload a team when you don’t know what your core is.

I hope they do. Without Victor they need a monster LHB

avila is going to make much more than he is worth next year, that team option is worthless.

if resigning VMart is necessary – then I see no reason to keep Torii. He’d be too expensive of a PH’er and no room at the DH.

wouldn’t it be great if DD’s year-end press conference included an announcement about re-signing Victor. that would be wonderful reason for the delay.

my 2 cents on a FA CF….Colby Rasmus if you can get him CHEAP CHEAP and for 1-2 years….but optimally Denard Span… Denard is > defensively and offensively. Denard will command more $ and years, but the difference won’t be that big. Colby just doesn’t have the bat to hit for power at CoPa nor the defense to cover CoPa CF.

Span would be great but the Nats are out of their mind in they dont pick the option

As a wish before the playoffs, what do you think about Fister and Span for Verlander and Davis tis offseason?

Washington would never do that. That’s a completely one sided deal.

the nationals and tigers would never. be a part of a one-sided deal. *bursts out sobbing*

molina is hurt? wow – SF vs KC WS is going to be nuts! go SF!

El T–Do you know if Rondon is on the Navegantes del Magallanes roster?
Would he even be close to pitching before the spring?

No, he is not in the roster.
I have been looking that information with no luck so far

Typically, recovery from Tommy John surgery is 9-12 months. Rondon had the procedure in April, so a 9-month recovery would go into January, when winter ball playoffs begin.

Everything I’ve heard is that Tigers winter ball group will be small.

The Nats would only make that deal if they were suffering a guilt complex from the last trade. My guess is they’ve gotten over it.

Matt Tuiasosopo play in 2014?

what size a bag of balls could Krol and Ray be traded for, today? I wonder

Even in the midst of two wild card teams about to play in the WS, the media (and probably fan) narrative is that the Tigers must win one or it’s all a waste of time. Detroit will win one………when they get a lot of luck on their side. I’d think the Royals and Giants are proving that. I know it’s more fun to cast blame than to accept that it’s mostly luck, but that is the case. The goal should be to get IN the playoffs. Baseball is an entirely different animal than the other sports.

gosh the Giants sure do have a lot of luck on their side, then!

I heard brad talk on the radio today. He talked about how AL ALBQ couldn’t pitch the 8th….JOBA had to….according to the “roles” he mapped out. Sanchez couldn’t go more than 1 inning since Brad didn’t stretch him out. Gosh Brad did a better job than the bullpen this year…..but not be a wide margin. I know people on this blog that could have made better decisions.

Saying Al “couldn’t or can’t” pitch the 8th is absurd. In the playoffs, stars are born. They are born of necessity as well as opportunity and often in roles they are not accustomed to. Brad was far too prescriptive in his thinking during the season and he mistakenly continued that into the playoffs.
No one entity is to blame for this season. We had an imperfect team and imperfect management both on the field and in the front office.
Our team was in serious trouble as far back as spring training with the announcement of Jose’s stress fractures and
then Joe Nathan’s self proclaimed “Dead Arm”.

Supposedly, Al’s record in later innings isn’t so hot. I agree with you, Dan. The postseason is when stars are born. Anyone should/could have been prepared in an emergency. Brad didn’t even acknowledge that he might have done something else. Dartmouth is stubborn. I thought he’d be different.

There is NOT ONE sportscaster(comprised of ex players, coaches and pitchers) on MLB network or espn, Fox 1 that didn’t question his non-moves.

If they don’t get that BP fixed, no good pitcher will want to come or stay with the Tigers.

This year, Alburquerque had the 11th highest number of appearances for a Tigers pitcher ever ( with the third lowest numbers of innings for that). Joba 18th( two innings short of Walker in 2006)

Walker, Zumaya, Rodney, Jones was not that bad in retrospective

Verlander has a long burdensome contract remaining. I can’t see him being a starter at the end of it. I wonder if he has the “right stuff” to follow in the footsteps of guys like Eckersley, Smoltz?

Continually being loyal to your players will get you only so far. Hopefully Brad starts to go with his gut instinct a lot more in 2015.
What’s the bet the 2015 pen is anchored by Rondon, Soria and Nathan. With big contracts likely for Victor and Price and not much to trade, interesting how they attempt to sell it to the fans.

What makes anyone think Rondon will be ready next year? It usually takes 1 1/2 years to pitch again. I’d be shocked if he could pitch by August.

Aoki will be a FA, he could play CF or RF if Davis kept CF

blows me up how nobody who interviews DD breaks his balls about his playpens.

Imagine this: a reliever goes up in a ball of flames one season, and then you tender him another contract – he makes the pen out of ST – and is a hot mess 70% of the season……and while he finishes the postseason with a 27 ERA….he’s actually only 3rd worst in the pen… That’s a PlayPen folks. Imma be tell’n my grandkids about that hot mess some day.

Aoki can play but a CF/RF of Rajai and Nori Aoki won’t get you even two handsfull of homers from typically offensively productive positions.
Even though we play half our games at Comerica Park we need outfielders that can reach the fence and drive in runs.

Right on Kathy, Big Bruce was initially (and unbelievably) annointed as the team’s closer, then touted as the set-up guy, now what?

i would not count on Rondon for much in 2015, reminds me of Zumaya too much! 2015 needs are a CF, strong year at SS, better 3B play from Casty and a Catcher that can handle the staff and hit for power. Replace Scherzer with a #4/#5 and find a few BP arms. I know its a long and needy list.

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