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Torii Hunter To The Yankees

The Yankees' need for a center fielder is well known.  The latest rumor making the rounds is that GM Brian Cashman will make a play to acquire Torii Hunter from the Twins. 

Although his glovework hasn't been anything special since 2001, the Yankees are after Hunter mainly to solidify their outfield defense.  The 30 year-old Hunter never really developed plate discipline, but he'd still be worth a couple of wins compared to the current shell of Bernie Williams.

Hunter is under contract for 2006 at $10.75MM, and the Twins would love to get that money off the books to pursue a slugger.  His 2007 club option for $12MM could be picked up by the Yanks if Hunter can remain a four win player in '06.  With his defense slipping, Hunter may try to reinvent himself as a patient slugger like Moises Alou did in 1997.

The Yankees won't give up Robinson Cano to acquire Hunter, and Eric Duncan is out of the question.  Instead, the Twins might take Andy Phillips and try him at third base.  A promising young starter like Matt DeSalvo (3.02 ERA at Double A Trenton in 2005) would also be necessary.  The Twins' bounty may be less than impressive as they're eager to shed Hunter's salary. 


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Why won't they give up Cano?

For some reason, the Yanks are in love with Cano. He looks like a league average 2B at best to me, but it might be a PR move so that management appears committed to getting younger.

I see.

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The Yankees system is far too mediocre for the Twins to give up Hunter.

The Twins are still trying to compete, and they'll want a contributor for Hunter, meaning Cano or Duncan would be a must, along with a few promising AA or A prospects. That is the problem with NYY's system, outside of Duncan, the only promising players are far from the mlb at low minor league levels.

The Twins would really have to desperate to move salary to trade Hunter for such mediocrity, when they could ship him to another team for a much better player crop.

I think Hunter is viewed as a much better player than he actually has been recently. His fielding has been pretty lousy since 2002 according to any stat I can find. He's a 3-4 win player these days, which is OK.

Ryan would be wise to hold out for more than the Yankees could offer, I agree.

Duncan didn't handle Double A all that well this year; I think his status as a prospect is overhyped because he's in NY. Check out his stats:

He can't contribute for at least a full year.

I think Ryan is very anxious to get rid of Hunter, even without getting Major Leaguers back. But you're right - he should find a better match than the Yankees.

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