Man, do I have mixed feelings about this. Hunter had a great year, can still field a corner if not center field, and is considered a great clubhouse guy. He is also 37 years old now. While he will only command a one- or two-year deal due to his age, I am frustrated by the idea that the Yankees could once again acquire a stopgap player to hold a place for young players that might never arrive. I am also inherently distrustful of players who (a) have a peak year at 36 -- there is nowhere to go but down -- and in particular of hitters who have too much of their value tied up in batting average. Hunter is not a huge slugger and he generally doesn't walk much, so he has to post a good batting average to be productive. This year, aided by a sure-to-regress .389 BABIP, that's what he did. Without that, you have the guy the Angels had in 2011: .262/.336/.429. For a right fielder that's no better than an average performance. Sure, it will play up in Yankee Stadium, but so would anyone else, so that shouldn't be a factor. And, of course, he could just get old, or brittle, or both. Hunter has generally been durable, but as we saw this year, when you get to players of this age, things just happen.
The Yankees Are Hunting Torii Hunter
Pinstriped Bible | Nov 1