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Torii Hunter might retire after the 2012 season

Sep 4, 2011, 9:49 AM EDT

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

Here’s Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, chatting Friday with Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

”I am going to retire an Angel. 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. You don’t want to see your skills diminish. You don’t want to linger.”

In other words, Hunter is leaving his options open. But retirement is a strong possibility if things continue to trend south.

Hunter’s five-year, $90 million contract with the Angels runs out after the 2012 season. If he fails to draw attractive free agent offers that winter, the veteran outfielder will simply hang up his cleats.

Hunter, 36, has been named to four All-Star teams and collected nine straight Gold Glove awards from 2001-2009. But he’s batting just .261/.332/.423 across 555 plate appearances this year and was bumped from center field at the end of the 2010 season by the more defensively adept Peter Bourjos.

The writing is on the wall, and it sounds like Hunter would prefer to go out with his head held high.

  1. proudlycanadian - Sep 4, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    The Angels could possibly trade him to the Twins (or another team such as the Yankees) if they were willing to absorb most of his salary for 2011. That would provide an opportunity to give Trout an every day position.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 4, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Why would the Yankees want Hunter? Every single outfielder is better, younger and cheaper.

  2. wvan10 - Sep 4, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    This is true, but Torii has been such a breath of fresh air on the Angels. It’s been a pleasure following his career the last few seasons.

  3. Mark - Sep 4, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    It’s pretty impressive how Hunter improved his offense as an Angel. A 120 career OPS+ with them vs 104 with the Twins. Even just focusing on his last 4 years as a Twin, he was “just” 112.

    The overall WAR may not reflect it (simply because his defense has regressed), but the bat has been very impressive the past few years. I didn’t realize he was so old, but I haven’t followed his career that closely. I definitely can respect that he wants to go out on a high note though.

  4. cur68 - Sep 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    Torii should become a Yankee. This way, when he retires to keep from hurting his team and preserve his legacy as an effective all round baseball player, he might serve as an example to certain others who’s shelf life is fast approaching.

  5. clownsfan - Sep 4, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    Sure hope Jorge read this

    • southofheaven81 - Sep 4, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      Amen. Everyone in the Yankee universe was pissed at Pettitte last spring (and he did waffle way too much), but unless he pulls a Clemens he left the game in the best way possible, after a terrific year, on his own terms.

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