According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Torii Hunter sweepstakes has a winner.
The Detroit Tigers.
Rosenthal reports via Twitter Hunter has agreed to sign with the Tigers, pending a physical. No terms are officially known, though sources of ESPN's Jerry Rosenthal claim Hunter will sign a 2 year deal worth $26MM.
At 12:05 Hunter asked his followers on Twitter to tune into the MLB Network. The news of the signing broke shortly thereafter.
The Tigers' main free agent target this off season, Hunter met with team brass Tuesday. Apparently their offer was too good to refuse.
Hunter really does seem like the perfect fit for the Tigers' needs, adding a solid bat to what was a brutal position offensively and vastly improves outfield defense. Even better, If the length of the deal is true, it's not a crippling contract in the long-term.
It's expected Hunter will start in right field and bat 2nd for the Tigers. He hit.343 with an .854 OPS when batting 2nd for the Angels in 2012.
His signing should allow top prospects Nick Castellanos and Avisail Garcia to polish their games in the minors instead of rushing them to the big leagues. The top 5 of the Tigers' batting order is now projected to be Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez.
The 37 year old Hunter is a 16 year veteran, a 4 time All-Star and winner of 9 Gold Gloves. He had spent the previous 5 seasons with the Angels after 11 years with the Twins (annually torturing the Tigers). Hunter hit .313 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI in the final season of his $90 MM contract.