According to multiple reports, the Tigers have reached an agreement with free agent outfielder Torii Hunter on a two-year, $26 million deal. The deal is not yet final, pending a physical.
The 37-year-old Hunter hit .313 with a .365 OBP, .451 slugging mark, .817 OPS, 16 homers and nine steals in 140 games in 2012, the last year of a five-year, $90 million deal he signed with the Angels after the 2007 season. That production, coupled with the fact that the Angels did not extend him a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer (thus meaning it would not cost a team a draft pick to sign the veteran) and the fact that the 13-year veteran was comfortable with a relatively short-term deal, made Hunter one of the most attractive free agents on the market this winter.
He reportedly was courted by more than a dozen clubs, including the Red Sox, who saw him as a potentially excellent fit as a corner outfielder. Hunter is close with David Ortiz, something that contributed to his potential interest in joining the Sox.
But a number of factors appeared to hold even greater appeal for Hunter in Detroit, including the fact that the Tigers -- who reached the World Series in 2012 -- appear primed to contend for the entirety of his contract, and the fact that he will be relatively close to Notre Dame, where his son will start a college football scholarship next year.
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