Torii Hunter doesn't believe in aging. He continues to foil Father Time, playing right field every day for the Detroit Tigers. Hunter remains a productive player at an age where most are calculating how many years it will be before their MLB pension will kick in.
Though he's coming off a Sliver-Slugger-winning year, and hitting .264/.304/.491 this season while leading the Tigers in home runs,
Dorian Gray Hunter knows the end of his career is looming. But there is still gas in the tank, and the 18-year veteran believes he has a few years left in him at the big league level.
In Ken Rosenthal's latest at FOX Sports, Hunter has a timeline for retirement, but odds are it won't be soon.
(Hunter) maintains that he could play two or three more seasons before adding "it's whether I want to or not."
Hunter, though, doesn't sound like he's anywhere close to retiring.
"I'm a man. A man is supposed to work," he said. "This is the only thing I know, the only thing I'm supposed to do."
Hunter may decide he wants to play a few more seasons, but the biggest factor playing into it will be his salary. He's making $14 million in 2014, and is in the final season of a two-year deal worth $26 million. Even if Hunter has a year comparable to the surprisingly good numbers he posted in 2013, (304 average, 17 home runs, 84 RBI, .800 OPS), it's hard to believe the Tigers (or any other MLB team) would want to bring the ageless wonder back at anywhere close to that salary.
If he does stave off retirement, and signs point to his looking to ink another contract, there will be a market for Hunter in free agency this coming off season. If 40-year-old Bobby Abreu can find big league employment, Hunter will have no problem finding a taker for his services in 2015.
As Hunter implied to Rosenthal, the decision to play next season is not set in stone. But is someone who has this much fun look like a player who is ready to call it a career?