Torii Hunter: With Addition of Ex-Angel, Tigers Boast Best Lineup in Baseball
The Detroit Tigers might have just found the piece to the World Championship puzzle that has eluded them since 1984.
Hunter, who will turn 38 next year, batted .313 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI's last season for the Los Angeles Angels. Hunter posted an .817 OPS a year ago, and was most effective batting in the No. 2 slot in the Angels lineup, hitting .343, with an OPS of .854 in 381 at-bats.
The Tigers nabbed the biggest free agent on the market and, by doing so, have compiled a lineup comparable to the vaunted 1927 New York Yankees' "Murderers' Row."
With the addition of Hunter, who will most likely hit in the No. 2 spot in manager Jim Leyland's lineup, the Tigers' projected first five hitters include Austin Jackson, Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez, assuming Martinez returns from a torn ACL that kept him sidelined for the entire 2012 campaign.
That may not strike as much fear into the hearts of pitchers as facing Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel and others from the famed 1927 Yankees lineup, but it's not too shabby.
Hunter, who signed with the Tigers after the Angels refused to pay a $13.3 million qualifying offer, enabling him to become an unrestricted free agent, comes to Detroit in search of his first World Championship.
The five-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner has played 14 MLB seasons, but doesn't have a ring, and with the Tigers' recent success, along with close proximity to his kids, Detroit was an attractive choice.
After years of mediocrity, the Tigers—with their recent success—are finally able to attract the biggest names on the market, and fans will welcome Hunter to Detroit with open arms.
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