8:45pm: Hunter says he plans to keep playing and would like to return to the Tigers, tweets MLive.com’s James Schmehl.
7:59pm: In the aftermath of the Tigers’ ouster from the playoffs at the hands of the Orioles Sunday, veteran outfielder Torii Hunter said he was strongly considering retiring, according to MLive.com’s Chris Iott (via Twitter). “It’s 100 percent serious, bro. I have been thinking about it a long time,” Hunter said, via a tweet from the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.
The 39-year-old Hunter is at the end of his two-year, $26MM deal, so he’ll be a free agent after the season. He said in April that he we would be physically able to play for two or three more seasons. “I’m a man. A man is supposed to work. This is the only thing I know, the only thing I’m supposed to do,” he said at the time.
The longtime Twins and Angels outfielder had a strong season in 2012, batting .313/.365/.451 in his last season in Anaheim, but he’s faded a bit since then. He’s still a well above average hitter, with a line of .286/.319/.446 this season, but his once-brilliant defense has faded to the point that he’s now marginal even in right field.
Hunter won nine straight Gold Gloves between 2001 and 2009. He’s also made five All-Star appearances and has two Silver Slugger awards. He has a career line of .279/.334/.465 with 331 home runs in 18 big-league seasons.