At the risk of seeming like Matthew Berry, we’re going to play a little bit of Blind Resume here as we look at potential LF targets for the Orioles for 2013. Without further ado we have:
Player A - .272/.364/.473, 24 HRs, 3.9 WAR – 20th in AL
Player B - .313/.365/.451, 16 HRs, 5.3 WAR – 8th in AL
The kicker? Player A will require a deal in the neighborhood of 5 years and $80 million while Player B is only looking at 2 years and maybe $20 million.
Player A is fan favorite Nick Swisher while Player B is the aging Torii Hunter. Who would I pick? Well, that’s complicated. Hunter’s numbers are enticing, but I doubt he hits .313 again (his BABIP this season was .389).
The thing is, from a cost point of view, I think Hunter is a safer bet. He’ll provide quality offense in the top of a lineup, won’t clog up the bases and is still above average defensively in a corner OF spot. He won’t give you the positional flexibility that Swisher would, but the price is clearly right and he’d relish the chance to play for a ring. Add in the strong relationship he has with Adam Jones and how Jones views him as a mentor I think the LF and CF positions would see improvement if Hunter was brought in.
According to MLBTradeRumors Hunter is a hot commodity this offseason, so the O’s may need to act fast if they have interest in him. We’ve heard Baltimore named as a potential landing spot for Johnny Gomes and Nick Swisher, so why not split the difference with Torii Hunter?