The Twins came to Chicago on Friday, sparking another round of Torii Hunter speculation for the White Sox. Hunter, of course, played it cool. He basically said he’d be honored if the Sox wanted him, and wouldn’t have a problem playing for one of the Twins’ biggest rivals.
Remember, though, that Hunter’s bare minimum contract is 5/75 and the White Sox are currently looking at $92MM+ committed for 2008. Even a backloaded deal would take the Sox close to their payroll limit. While moving Jon Garland for cheap young players is a distinct possibility, I’m not sure if the rotation can take the hit. And no one’s taking on Jose Contreras’s contract. Kenny Williams is in a bit of a pickle as his farm system could use a reload but the team has too many veterans to rebuild. He could trade them all off but Sox fans would revolt.
Despite the salary concern, Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press names the Sox as Hunter’s leading suitor and crosses the Cardinals off the list.