According to a baseball source, the Red Sox have shown interest in free agent outfielder Torii Hunter.
The 37-year-old (he turns 38 in July) has expressed interest in playing in Boston in the past, in large part because of the presence of his longtime friend, designated hitter David Ortiz.
"I'm open to anybody, especially if David is there," Hunter told WEEI.com in late August. "David is one of my guys. We were roommates in Minnesota and he's one of my brothers. He's one of my best friends in baseball. That makes it more impressive."
Monday night, after a press conference announcing his new two-year, $26 million deal with the Red Sox, Ortiz said he had already been in touch with Hunter regarding the possibility of coming to the Red Sox.
"I talked to him the other day because he heard Texas was going to try and sign me, because his mind might have changed. He said, 'If I was going to think about Boston it is because you are there.' I told him not to worry," Ortiz said.
Hunter was not offered a qualifying offer by the Angels, which would have potentially paid the outfielder $13.3 million for 2013 if offered and accepted. He just finished off a five-year, $90 million deal, having made $18 million in '12.
The five-time All-Star finished '12 hitting .313 with an .817 OPS to go along with 16 home runs in 140 games. He exclusively played right field, except for six games in which he served as the team's DH.
"To be honest with you, I don't know what the Red Sox are looking for," Ortiz added. "Torii is the kind of guy if he comes here, he is coming here to play, not to watch anybody. Having a player like Torii in your lineup, especially in this division, I think it would be a good fit. Now, I want to see what's going to happen to guys like [Ryan] Kalish, [Daniel] Nava, Cody [Ross], Ryan Sweeney. It's going to take a minute for them to decide what they're going to do, but Torii would be huge."
The Red Sox also have expressed interest in other free agent outfielders since Saturday morning, when teams were officially allowed to talk with free agents outside their organization. Included in the group is Ross, who told WEEI.com Saturday that the two sides hadn't been close leading up to the deadline before players could test the open market.
According to a source, the Red Sox' unwillingness to offer Ross a third season continues to be a primary stumbling block. There does, however, appear to be some interest in multiple teams in committing three years to the outfielder. Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported Monday night that Ross is looking for a deal for approximately three years, $25 million.
“Yeah, definitely, because now it’s going to be more complex with other teams involved. It’s not just [the Red Sox],” Ross explained when asked if his thinking had changed post-deadline. “They had a ton of opportunities. We talked about this back in July and we couldn’t work anything out up until the deadline. Now it only makes sense to listen to other teams. But obviously we’re going to talk [with the Red Sox]."
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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