By RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Reporter
The Detroit Tigers have signed free agent outfielder Torii Hunter to a two year, $26 million deal. Hunter, 37, returns to the American League Central, where he started his career with the Minnesota Twins.
The 15 year veteran is a .277 career hitter with 297 home runs and nine Gold Glove awards.
During his fifth and final season with the Los Angeles Angels, Hunter hit .313 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI’s. Hunter also provided leadership to the Angels’ young outfield group, including American League Rookie of the Year and AL MVP candidate, Mike Trout.
The Tigers are not required to give the Angels draft pick compensation for the signing of Hunter, since the Angels declined to extend him a qualifying offer.
@rlindz35 had a blast
— Torii Hunter (@toriihunter48) November 14, 2012
Hunter is excited to be joining the defending American League Champions next season. When the signing was announced, Hunter updated his Twitter biography. “Found a job! Headed to Motown to win that ring!”
Tigers pitcher Drew Smyly stated on his Twitter, “Pumped to hear the @tigers signed @toriihunter48! Can’t wait to play with you #arkansas.”
— Drew Smyly (@SmylyD) November 14, 2012
Hunter is an Arkansas native like his new teammate Smyly, and is expected to be the starting right fielder for the Tigers in 2013.