Angels Sign Torii Hunter

Less than a month into the job, Tony Reagins is turning out to be a pretty aggressive GM. After acquiring Jon Garland in a trade, the Angels signed Torii Hunter to a 5-year $80 million contract. Hunter is one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball, but this signing seemed to come out of nowhere. Most pundits felt the Angels would look for a power bat in the infield (Miguel Cabrera and Miguel Tejada were rumored), and centerfield appeared set with Gary Matthews, Jr.

"You're a little surprised, huh?" Hunter's agent Larry Reynolds said late Wednesday night. "It all happened within the last 24 hours."

"We are very excited to have Torii joining our organization," Reagins said in a statement. "Not only is he an outstanding ballplayer but he's also an outstanding human being. He'll impact our ballclub and community in a very positive way."

Apparently, now the Angels will shift Matthews to left field while asking Garrett Anderson to be the DH more regularly. While Hunter will improve the Angels outfield defense, he does hit for above-average power, and should boost the Halos offense.

As the first major signing of the free agent period (A-Rod was a re-signing), Hunter has set the market price for other centerfield free agents like Aaron Rowand and Andruw Jones, both of whom are rumored to be Dodger targets. In the meantime, one gets the feeling that Reagins isn't done working this offseason. Reagins seems unafraid to make big roster changes, and he could very well have a few more moves up his sleeve.

November 21, 2007 11:37 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

© 2003-2014   •  About LA Observed  •  Contact the editor
LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.
Native Intelligence
Al Martinez | As California's water shortage becomes more critical Martinez finds substitutes for water---unless human sweat, dog drool and purified pee-pee are a bit too much for you to take.
Gary Leonard | Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed.
Jenny Burman | Ayla was a revved up little engine, narcissistic, and brutal.
Ellen Alperstein | Unlike the south-facing beaches, the sand at Santa Monica was relatively undisturbed by the high-wave action courtesy Hurricane Marie. But lifeguards were on high alert.
Judy Graeme | Melissa Barak concentrates during an audition Sunday for the Barak Ballet, at the Westside School of Ballet.
Jon Christensen and Mark Gold | "A Hollywood drama of butterfly extirpation and persistence over a century of urbanization," reads the headline on a recent scientific study in the Journal of Insect Conservation. The story that unfolds offers glimmers of hope for the rich biological diversity that lives amongst us in Los Angeles.
Bill Boyarsky
In an audacious move to bypass the county supervisors, Latino leaders, public policy reformers and civil libertarians are backing state legislation that would give a judge the power to expand the five-member board.
Jenny Burman
Before I lived in Echo Park, there was a tiny 1920s bungalow-cottage-standalone house on N. Occidental in Silver Lake. I...
Here in Malibu
Me and the coyote, watching the same sunset....