If the Yankees and Torii Hunter were willing to sign a one year deal, maybe even with a mutual or team option for 2014, I think I have finally warmed up to the idea of Torii Hunter in pinstripes. I have finally come to the realization that we are not going to acquire someone like Justin Upton after the D Backs traded Chris Young to the Athletics earlier in the offseason. I have also come to the realization that we are probably going to see some sort of a downgrade in right field next season, not that we cannot afford a little bit of a step back in some areas offensively as we will still be a prolific offense when healthy. Torii Hunter just may make the most sense for the Yankees in 2013, here is why.
The Yankees will have two guys out in the outfield next season batting from the left side in Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner while Torii is a right handed power bat to even out the lineup. While Torii was never as good as he was advertised in the outfield his speed made up for a lot of his miscues in center field so a move to a smaller right field in Yankees Stadium would really do him some good. Not to mention that potentially having Brett Gardner in center field covering all the ground that he does can only help Mr. Hunter. Torii has been an above average hitter basically his entire career even in a spacious outfield out in Anaheim. His triple slash for 2012 was .313/.365/.451 while hitting both right handed starting pitchers and left handed starting pitchers. It helps that Torri is an all fields hitter which will help him in Yankees Stadium although his power is considered more of "pull power" and left and left center field tend to swallow more then a few home runs for right handed hitters. After the year of the injury and post season let downs in 2012 Torii Hunters durability and post season experience will be a sight for sore eyes in New York and will be, in my opinion of course, highly welcomed by the fans. Torii is one of the more respected players in the game and does everything right and by the book and that just screams New York Yankee to me.
The Angels did not offer Torii a qualifying offer so basically all we would have to give up to acquire him would be money so if the years are right, preferably just a one year deal for the 37 year old, then show me where to sign. Sure his ground balls are up and sure his strike out numbers are up and sure he only hit 16 home runs in 2012 hitting in between guys like Mike Trout and Albert Pujols and sure he has always been double play prone but unlike most of his career we do not need him to be the superstar, we just need him to be Torii Hunter. His right handed bat evens out the lineup, his speed and fundamentals and more then adequate defense mixed with Gardner in CF gives us the best outfield defense in the game hands down, his (hopefully) willingness to sign a one year deal keeps us flexible going forward, and his character will give us another guy for the fans to flock behind.