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Torii Hunter to sign soon: Detroit Tigers still in play, report says

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Tigers outfield target Torii Hunter will soon announce which team he plans to sign with, reports say. The Tigers and Rangers are both said to be in the running.

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Torii Hunter says he won't take long to decide where to sign, and Detroit remains one possible destination.

CBS Sports' Danny Knobler reported today that the Tigers and Texas Rangers both remain in play to earn the former Gold Glove outfielder's favor:

(As) of now, the Tigers seem to be the front-runners, with the Rangers just behind them.

Hunter has a history of signing quickly (his contract with the Angels was announced on Thanksgiving Day 2007), and he said Monday morning on MLB Network that he expects this one to move fast, as well.

Hunter has drawn interest from the Braves, Phillies and Red Sox as well, while the Yankees are Dodgers are said to be luke warm possibilities, according to Knobler.

The big draw of the Tigers -- and Rangers, presumably -- is their ability to put Hunter in position for a World Series ring. The defending American League champions keep most of their team together and have Victor Martinez returning from a knee injury that cost him the 2012 season. Although they were swept in the World Series, they opened as favorites to win the 2013 title.

Plus, you know, they've got money. That never hurts.

Rob and I have both written about the possibility of Hunter returning.

I wrote in the News:

You might assume the 37-year-old's best years are behind him, but he's been remarkably consistent throughout the years, and his offensive numbers jumped to a .313 average, .817 OPS and 92 RBIs.

With several Gold Glove awards to his name, even at a step or two slower he's still an improvement over any player the Tigers could put out there.

Rob wrote at BYB:

Why should we stay away?

He's a savvy veteran who puts up good offensive numbers, plays great defense, and is by all accounts a great team guy. Because of this, someone will undoubtedly overpay for him. Other than that, I've got nothing.