Torii Hunter is thinking about retiring once his contract is up after the 2012 season. In an interview with Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Angels outfielder says there is about a 40% chance that next season will be his last.
'I am going to retire an Angel," he said. ''Next year is my last year, and I'm going to retire an Angel. I'm going to evaluate it this offseason. That's when I'll know. It's 60-40, to the positive, that I'll keep playing."
Hunter has a .261/.332/.423 line for Los Angeles this year and was hampered in the early part of the season by a quad injury. Since getting back to better health, however, Hunter has been on fire, posting a 1.013 OPS in 118 plate appearances since August 2. Hunter will be 37 at the end of the 2012 campaign and told Souhan that he doesn't want to keep playing just for the sake of playing: "You don't want to see your skills diminish. You don't want to linger."
If Hunter did decide to return for 2013, he would give the Angels "first dibs" on bringing him back but also noted that he would enjoy returning to Minnesota, where he spent the first 11 seasons of his career. This isn't the first time Hunter has talked of rejoining the Twins, but a return could be difficult given Hunter's feelings about Twins GM Bill Smith, who he describes as having "no heart, no compassion, no nothing."
Hunter said he would have re-signed with Minnesota as a free agent after the 2007 season had the club offered him a four or five-year deal, but Smith's largest offer was for three years. Hunter believes Smith's offer was just a token effort and thinks the Twins are making a similarly half-hearted attempt to re-sign Michael Cuddyer, who is a free agent after this season and was reportedly offered a two-year, $16MM contract by the club earlier this month.
"Cuddyer is going to make less, as a free agent?" Hunter said. "I told him before, 'They'll make an offer and people will say, 'You turned down the money, you could have stayed, you're money-hungry.' "