Did The Angels Mishandle Torii Hunter?

By Jason Evans

Torii Hunter is officially no longer an Angel. The outfielder signed a two year $26 million contract with the Detroit Tigers. That is exactly $13 million a year, or exactly what the Angels qualifying offer would have had to have been to Hunter which the Angels declined. Hunter is a Tiger and the Angels won’t even get a draft pick for him.

September 9, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Torii Hunter (48) runs after hitting a double in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Did the Angels miscalculate by not giving him the qualifying offer? They could have forced Hunter’s hand in giving him the same amount of money that he ended up signing for with the Tigers. The problem was though, that if Hunter went and accepted it (which no free agent did) it would’ve hamstrung what the Angels could do because of the contracts that they have already given out (for better or worse).Well, it means the outfield next year, for now, is Mike Trout in left, Peter Bourjos in center and Mark Trumbo in right, with a little bit of Vernon Wells mixed in. Bourjos will get a chance to prove that he his an everyday player. There’s no question that Bourjos can play defense, now the question is will he be able to hit enough to stick.

Hunter talked about how the Angels only offered a one year deal for $5 million. Clearly, he did better for himself in the open market. He also gets to play closer to his son who will be playing football for Notre Dame next season.

The Angels let Hunter walk away for nothing. Did they make the right decision? I’m not too sure, and we may not know if he did for quite a while.