I'm reluctantly starting to come around on this guy. I mean, if the Giants don't like Melky's PR(public relations) stats and are unwilling to bring him back, I guess Hunter would be a fine alternative. All I've read about the guy is how great of a clubhouse guy he is. I'm actually getting sick of it. For example:
Lyle Spencer mlb.com:
"Hunter is such an exceptional person, he never thought twice about making the move to right field to accommodate Bourjos in 2011. He took everything he knew about the game to both Bourjos and Trout -- kids he understood might eventually lead management to view him as a luxury item. That is what has happened, it appears.
You'd be surprised how few players, in his position, would have had the generosity of spirit to teach Bourjos and Trout the way Hunter did, from Day 1.
You know who will really miss Hunter? Albert Pujols. With Torii taking on the lion's share of the media attention, Pujols was able to do his daily pregame routine without a hitch. Pujols was free, thanks to Hunter, to deal with the media on his terms, when he felt so inclined. With no Hunter to handle all the microphones and notepads in his popular corner, someone will have to fill that void.
It's a little too much to ask of Trumbo -- who has the ability to do it, but is still focused on finding his niche -- or any other individual. It will be a team responsibility now. Pujols will have to pitch in, like everyone else.
That might not seem like such a big deal, but it's important to have someone there, at his locker, to take the media's inquiries after a tough loss. Hunter always stood tall and handled it, bringing perspective and humor to any situation. Teammate Chone Figgins used to call him "Obama," a reference to Torii's remarkable ability to take care of business in a deft, presidential fashion. He was the unofficial club spokesman for a reason."
He wants a ring:
Mike DiGiovanna LA Times
"Hunter, a fan favorite whom teammates call “the heart and soul” of the Angels, said he’s willing to take a significant paycut to remain, and owner Arte Moreno and General Manager Jerry Dipoto expressed their desire to bring him back.
In late September, as Hunter was completing a torrid final month in which he hit .345 with four homers and 27 RBIs in 29 games, Moreno even went on the team’s radio station and said, “If we don’t figure out a way to re-sign him, we’re going to get hung, aren’t we?”
But the Angels, according to a person familiar with negotiations who is not authorized to speak publicly about them, made what Hunter considered a “low-ball” offer in early October, and talks did not progress much from there.
Hunter, a nine-time Gold Glove Award winner who has never played in a World Series, said in July that if he doesn’t return to the Angels, he would consider playing for only three teams, the Yankees, Rangers or Dodgers. Otherwise, he would retire.
But after a superb second half and another season in which he showed few signs of age, Hunter has expanded that list.
“Once Saturday hits, it’s open season, I’m open to anybody,” Hunter said. “I’ll be my own scout. I’ll see what moves are made and try to get to the team that has the best chance of winning.”
Things to consider:
-I'm uncomfortable with a two year deal, but the Giants are apparently willing to give one to 37 year old Marco Scutaro.
-Would Hunter be willing to move to left field for Pence? Torii only played right field last season and has practically never played left.
-His career stats in the postseason: .305/.370/.489 in 148 PAs
-He had an insanely high .389 BABIP last season. That compares to his career average of .307. It was .443 during the second half of last season! His 2012 highlights on mlb.com are full of ground ball and bloop RBI singles. But his line drive percentage was actually higher last season, while his fly ball percentage was much lower and ground ball percentage much higher compared to his career averages and the previous season.
-Batting in front of Albert Pujols surely must have gotten him better pitches to hit. Torii's stats batting 2nd in the order last season: .343/.376/.478 in 381 PAs
-He had an ISO of .139 last season. That compares to a career average of .190. His ISO has gone down each of the last three seasons.
-His K rate went up and his walk rate went down last season compared career averages and the previous season. His swing rate also went up. He swung at more pitches in the zone as well as out of it at a similar increase compared to the previous season. His contact rate took a slight dip, but only by a few percentage points. It was a result of missing more pitches in the zone, not outside it. I chalk all this up to Torii being more aggressive as a result of Albert Pujols batting behind him and Mike Trout batting in front of him and getting on base a lot of the time.
-HardballTalk on Torii Hunter's free agency: "At 37, he could easily slip. However, he’d likely be an average regular at worst, and he’d still get big points for his leadership. With the Yankees, Giants, Red Sox and Orioles all among his possible suitors, a two-year, $24 million deal seems realistic.