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
Jenny Burman | He was a criminal of course.
Ellen Alperstein | When the conversation turns to zombies, the buzz is all about bees.
Karen Wada | The veteran A Noise Within actor talks with LA Observed about the joys and perils of performing in two plays at once, her favorite leading men and what happens when you start a show while sitting on a toilet.
Al Martinez | Martinez riffs on dogs, shifting family tenants in his house and why bible sellers are always in jeopardy at his front door.
Bill Boyarsky
Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver gave sharp and articulate performances in last Friday night’s debate, showing clear differences between the candidates for the Third District supervisorial seat.
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
I know I've said this a few (hundred) times over the years but ooooh, pretty....