IS TORII HUNTER WORTH IT?
Several media outlets have estimated that Hunter will sign a five- or six-year deal for a salary of about $15 million per year — with Chicago the apparent frontrunner at the moment.
During the recent general managers’ meetings in Orlando, Fla., ESPN.com asked 15 front office executives if they would prefer Jones or Hunter as a center field option. Fourteen respondents chose Hunter, and one official said he would be content with either player.
So do you pay 15 mill a year for 5 or 6 years to a 32-year old centerfielder?
Hunter will hit for power. He has won 7 consecutive Gold Gloves. But last year was his best year offensively since 2002. In a contract year, surprise, surprise. I’m a huge fan. And maybe it’s just the price of doing business, both the amount and the term of the deal. But that deal makes me a bit uneasy.
I might see if I could go and get Andruw Jones for a bargain instead. Scott Boras claims there is no way Jones will sign a 1-year deal. That’s fine. Jones won’t be 31 until the end of April. My guess is he will perform as well or better than Torii Hunter on a deal that would cover less years and less dollars.
Jones is going to pick it (10 Gold Gloves), draw his walks and crank 30 homers somewhere next year. He may hit 40. Or 50. Hunter is not going to do that.
Would you offer Jones 2 years and $25 million? 3 and 30? I would. On either side of town here in Chicago he’d fit fine.