Posted at 3:29 PM on September 16, 2005
by Josh Lee
When you're sitting around the house with a broken ankle, there's not much to do (besides following your team's descent into mediocrity) beyond staring at the wall. And if you stare at that wall long enough, you might start to see writing on it. That's what Torii Hunter sees, at least, because he's selling his Golden Valley condo amidst whispers of a possible trade this winter. The portents? His salary next year will be above $10 million, and that kind of paycheck is almost unheard of in Twins Territory. Lew Ford is looking like a passable defensive replacement in center field, and $10 million is presumably enough to buy a couple of decent bats.
On the other hand, Torii, streaky as he sometimes is, is one of the few real hitters on the roster, and giving that up for the hope of an offensive upgrade doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Perhaps more importantly, Torii is the face of the Twins, by far its most Nike-friendly player, and while you could maybe possibly sort-of conceive of an argument for replacing his bat and his glove, it's hard to imagine anyone replacing his face: Santana's too content to let his pitching speak for him, Radke's talking retirement, and Mauer's too young. Hunter is the last and best representative of the Twins' 21st-century resurgence, and as budget-conscious as the team's management is, it seems hard to believe that getting rid of him would make good business sense.
You nailed it -- Hunter isn't going anywhere as long as Terry Ryan doesn't receive an outrageously good trade offer for him. Torii has his faults, but he's the most valuable position player on the team and will be for the next 2-3 years. Sorry Joey.
Dear Mr. Lee,
That was very well put.
Perhaps he could do a little "MLB Cribs" to show off the luxuries of his pad to get better bids. The big question is in which room "the magic happens", which is pointed out in every Cribs house tour.