Friday, November 23, 2007

Hunter the the Angels for $90 Million?

I'm sorry, is it just me of is Torii Hunter not even close to being worth $90 million over 5 years? Evidently, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim think I am wrong. They reportedly just handed this crazy contract to Hunter and are now loaded with outfielders. To me, this is a stunner. This is a guy coming off a career year, hitting .297 with 28 HR's and 107 RBI. Giving five years to a soon to be 33 year old center fielder when you don;t have a hole there doesn't make much sense to me. Didn't the Angels brass see what has happened just two years into the Yankees deal with Johnny Damon? He is already in left-field and has seen his offensive numbers dwindle.

For the second straight offseason, it appears as if the Angels have overpaid to get a center fielder. Last winter, Gary Matthews Jr., coming off his one good major league season, was handed a 5 year, $50 million deal, which had everyone in baseball scratching their heads. It came out during Spring Training that Matthews was sent a shipment of HGH in 2004. While playing gold-glove caliber Center, Matthews battled injuries all year and hit just .252, with 18 HR's and 82 RBI.

Back to Hunter. While he is the best defensive Center fielder in the game, he is coming off a career year and is already on the down side of his career, there is no way he repeats the numbers he has had over the last two seasons. Losing Orlando Cabrera in the lineup already weakened one position on both sides of the ball, so bringing in Hunter levels that. It should be interesting to see what the Angels do with Garrett Anderson, Reggie Willits, Juan Rivera, and Gary Matthews Jr. I expect you would see Anderson becoming a full-time DH, assuming Vlad Guerrero is healthy enough to play in the field. They are stuck with Matthews as nobody is going to pick up four more years at $10 million per for him.

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