The Detroit Tigers certainly know a little something about urgency. With their competitive window closing by the
pound day, the Tigers realize their best chance to get over the hump and win a World Series title lies in the here and now.
Hunter is 37-years old but coming off a very productive season – one of the finest of his career. No longer the Gold Glove centerfielder of his younger days, Hunter still provides strong corner defense and well above-average offense via his speed and decent power. 2012 represents the best season of his career by fWAR, getting over 5 Wins for the first time in his career.
The .389 BABIP sort of jumps off the page in 2012 but, even if he plays to the level of his 2009-2011 seasons (somewhere around league average, with good corner defense and slightly above-average offense and power), this is a good move for the Tigers. A team that trotted Delmon Young out to left field in the playoffs, a team that gave Brennan Boesch 115 starts in right field and no single player more than 60 starts in left en route to winning the AL Central.
The Tigers add Hunter and return Victor Martinez from injury, adding this very experienced duo to a core of Austin Jackson, Prince Fielder, and MVP runner-up Miguel Cabrera. They want to win and want to win now. Which is why the terms — 2 years, $26 million dollars according to Jerry Crasnick — are somewhat secondary.
Hunter will get $26M over two years, source says. #tigerrs
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) November 14, 2012
The Tigers aren’t concerned with their WAR/$ calculations. The Tigers want to win the World Series and the marginal value of Hunter’s contributions over Andy Dirks, Quinten Berry, and Brennan Boesch makes the deal a good one for their immediate, unshakable goal of getting their owner a ring.
If you have the money, why not? Depth is overrated when the Royals, Twins, and Indians take up space in your division. When it comes to post-season baseball: get in and get deep, something made all the more likely with Torii Hunter in their mix.