It’s Thanksgiving and that means that you’re going to be subjected to any number of sports columns about what people are thankful for.
Me, I’m thankful for the Torii Hunter signing, which gives us something to talk about on this fine national holiday other than the weather, the turkey and A-Rod.
Outfielder Torii Hunter and the Los Angeles Angels reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday night on a five-year contract thought to be worth $90 million.
That’s $18 million a year for Mr. Hunter. Not too shabby.
I’m also thankful for Vegas Watch, who got up early this morning to break down the Torii Hunter signing, thus sparing me the trouble of looking up statistics. You, Vegas Watch. You!
Hunter’s career OBP is .324, and his career OPS+ is 104. He’ll be 33 in July. He looks good out there, but by any metric Hunter was an average fielder this year; THT has him at 0, BP at -1. Only the leaders and trailers have been published from Dewan’s system, but he’s in neither, which means he was between +3 and -9.
It looks as though Hunter is an overrated fielder coming off a career year at the age of 32. This seems like a pretty solid formula for someone to get more money than they’re worth, does it not?
As Vegas Watch points out, this leaves the Angels with a surplus of outfielders — six, if you’re counting at home: Hunter, Gary Matthews Jr., Garret Anderson, Vlad Guerrero, Juan Rivera and Reggie Willits.
Where will they all play? Here’s what the LA Times says:
Hunter, who has excellent speed, instincts and athletic ability, will play center field for the Angels, and Manager Mike Scioscia said Matthews would rotate through the corner outfield spots, and right fielder Vladimir Guerrero and left fielder Garret Anderson would rotate through the designated hitter spot.
It’s hard to imagine that the Angels are going to pay Matthews $10 million a year to be a bench player. But that’s what it looks like is going to happen.
You’ve got to think there will be more to come. You’ve got to think that some of that outfield glut will be traded — possibly for Miguel Cabrera.