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The Dodgers are “aggressively pursuing” Torii Hunter…or not

Nov 10, 2012, 3:59 PM EST

Torii Hunter Getty Images

UPDATE: Hold your horses, everyone. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers’ interest in Hunter has been overstated.

Hernandez hears that Hunter’s agent approached the Dodgers, who agreed to take a meeting with him. You know how agents used to try to get the Yankees involved in order to get other teams to boost their offers? Perhaps that is what we are seeing with the free-spending Dodgers now.

It doesn’t matter much anyway, as Hunter told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that he isn’t too keen on the idea of accepting a lesser role. He also denied Mark Saxon’s report that the Dodgers approached him with a two-year deal.

We continue to see conflicting reports on this, but Hernandez was also told by a source that Ethier is not on the trade block.

2:34 PM: Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles reports that the Dodgers have approached Hunter about a two-year contract. Contrary to Ken Rosenthal’s report earlier this afternoon, Saxon is hearing that the Dodgers have made it clear to other teams that they would consider trading Andre Ethier.

1:23 PM: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Dodgers will not trade Ethier and that Hunter would have to accept a lesser role if he signs with the team.

One would think that Hunter would rather look for a full-time role elsewhere, but since the Dodgers don’t appear to have a budget right now, they could compete and exceed other offers in terms of dollars. Kemp and Crawford are both coming off surgeries, so there’s a chance Hunter could play pretty regularly to begin 2013, but he would be some mighty expensive insurance.

8:55 AM: What do you do when you already have three outfielders under contract with long-term deals? You try to sign another outfielder, of course.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Dodgers are “aggressively pursuing” free agent outfielder Torii Hunter. This must be part of Ned Colletti’s strategy of signing all of the free agents in order to keep them away from potential rivals.

Nothing appears imminent, but Nightengale hears that the Dodgers have some organizational meetings on tap for next week in which they’ll try to formulate a plan to make room for both Hunter and a front-line starting pitcher. They have already spoken with the agents for Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez, who many consider the best two starters available in free agency.

The Dodgers have Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier locked into expensive long-term deals, so something will have to give if they want to sign Hunter. We heard a rumor last month that Ethier was on the trade block and this would seem to give some credence to that notion. Yes, it appears the Dodgers may already have a case of buyer’s remorse after signing the 30-year-old to a five-year, $85 million contract extension in June.

  1. chill1184 - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Dodgers are certainly making this off season interesting

  2. proudlycanadian - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    The Dodgers must have been upset at all the publicity that the Red Sox had received and are getting into the act. Meanwhile, they haven’t actually signed anyone, while the Red Sox have made a “splash” and have signed a back up catcher.

  3. koufaxmitzvah - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    I think the Dodgers are MLB’s version of the Mossad. Whatever happens out there, it’s the Dodgers doing it.

    Must be the blue and white combo…..

  4. prosourcetalk - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Maybe they just want some injury insurance.

  5. rockthered1286 - Nov 10, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    The real question is can they actually find someone willing to take on Ethier and his outlandish contract?

  6. xpensivewinos - Nov 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    No way the Dodgers trade Ethier without having to pay some of that salary.

    Get the feeling one of these two dudes ends up in Boston……..

  7. manchestermiracle - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Ned was on such a tight leash for so long with McCourt that he’s just trying to make up for lost time. A little strategic restraint would go a long way.

  8. ramrene - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    The Dodger would be interested in Hunter because he only offers a year or two which is just enough time to get Yasiel Puig up and ready for the Majors. Either will be traded for a starting pitcher.

  9. dangernearing - Nov 10, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Boston could use him

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 10, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Should we be concerned about our fellow commenter? There was no “Ned gonna Ned” on this one…

  11. JohnK Wright, V - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Hunter to the Rangers would be good. Hunter’s work ethic and leadership would be great in the clubhouse. He lives nearby to Arlington, so he would be home.
    If the Rangers can get the left handed Adam Larouch to play 1B for them, then they can move Moreland to OF and play 1B or DH.
    The loss of Hamilton would be made up by adding Hunter/Larouch.

    Now add some more pitching…..

  12. ndnut - Nov 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Can Torii come back to the Twins. Willingham, Revere/Span, Hunter sounds good to me.

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