Angels Unlikely To Re-Sign Torii Hunter

FRIDAY: GM Jerry Dipoto says the Angels remain interested in re-signing Hunter, Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register reports. "Finding a way to fit Torii in is a challenge, but we have been open that we want him back,” Dipoto said. “We haven’t closed the door on Torii and he hasn’t closed the door on us.”

THURSDAY: The Angels are highly unlikely to re-sign right fielder Torii Hunter, MLBTR has learned from a source close to the situation.  The Angels are prioritizing pitching this offseason, and Hunter will have a chance to explore the open market.

Hunter, 37, signed a five-year, $90MM deal with the Angels after the '07 season.  He hit .313/.365/.451 with 16 home runs in 584 plate appearances this year, so he's still an asset from the right side of the plate.  His right field defense grades out as above-average.  MVP candidate Mike Trout is assured of a starting spot next year for the Halos, while Vernon Wells, Peter Bourjos, and Mark Trumbo project to take the rest of the at-bats.

A week ago, Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote that the Angels offered Hunter "only a one-year contract at a heavy pay cut from his $18 million salary," and that Hunter is aiming for at least a two-year deal.  At this stage in his career I imagine Hunter is focused on playing for a contender, with teams such as the Phillies and Rangers looking like viable options.

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