Torii Hunter returns to his roots, signs with Twins

Pending a physical it appears that Torii Hunter will finish his career where it began. He has agreed to a one-year $10.5 million contract with the Minnesota Twins.

The 39-year-old was drafted by the Twins with the 20th pick in the first round of the 1993 draft.

Hunter played with the Twins for 11 seasons, picking up seven Gold Glove Awards and making two All-Star appearances. He moved on signing with the Los Angeles Angels where he played for five seasons and most recently played two seasons with the Detroit Tigers.

Torii  Hunter. Getty Images.
Torii Hunter. Getty Images.

After leaving the Twins Hunter won two more Gold Gloves, two Sliver Slugger Award and made three more All-Star appearances,

Last season Hunter hit .286 with 17 home runs and 83 RBI in 142 games for the Tigers.

Hunter would have been happy to return to the Tigers. However, with Hunter mulling retirement, the Tigers re-signed Victor Martinez to a four-year $68 million contract.

The Tigers and Hunter then decided to part ways and he has been on the free agent market and the subject of speculation ever since,

With his kids already in college and excelling in their sports, would Hunter play one more season or call it a career?

For the most part the sentiment among people, outside of Hunter and his family, was that he should continue to play.

His defensive skills may have declined in the last few seasons, he moved from centerfield to right field in 2010 while with the Angels, but his bat sure hasn’t.

Torii Hunter. Jason Miller/Getty Images.
Torii Hunter. Jason Miller/Getty Images.

Hunter is not only known as a phenomenal player, he’s also known as one of the best clubhouse presences in baseball and there is a lot he can do to mentor the team’s younger players.

The club could also use Hunter’s right-handed power since Josh Willingham opted for retirement after the 2014 season.

Going back to the Twins is about as storybook as you can get. Besides playing in Minnesota for 11 seasons, he was a teammate of the Twins’ new manager Paul Molitor in 1997 and 1998. Molitor also served as the Twins’ bench coach, while Hunter was there, in 2000 and 2001.

Hunter even played with the Twins’ new bullpen coach “Everyday” Eddie Guardado from 1997-2003 and the pair represented the club together at the 2002 All-Star Game.

So there’s no question that Hunter will fit right in with the 2015 Twins. It’s the perfect way to (likely) end what has been an incredible career, right back where it all started.

  • He was a great locker room presence in Detroit, and had a solid year at the plate. I wish him the best in Minny, but wish he would have helped the Tigers win a WS. Just one, at least one…
    -Mike

    • I know the feeling … like just one please! LOL! Also, I wrote a whole post on why he shouldn’t retire and one telling him he should come to the A’s (uh, yeah right pipe dream I know)! He’s still hella good. But I think it’s really cool, almost poetic that he’s going back to where he started and I heard on MLB Network this morning that he said this might not be his last year but the Twins would be his last team which is awesome. Seems like such a good guy! And I didn’t used to like him – mainly because of the 2002 ALDS and then he was on the Angels and the Tigers so that would be 2 ALDS series! So I had to “not like him” but I do. LOL! 🙂

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