Torii Hunter visits Detroit; source says he 'wants to play there'
Torii Hunter went on a recruiting visit to Detroit on Tuesday, sources confirmed to CBSSports.com. The Tigers have emerged as the clear favorite to sign the free-agent outfielder, and a source who has spoken to Hunter said, "He wants to play there."
Torii Hunter told CBSSports.com's Scott Miller that he feels like he's being recruited. On Tuesday, the free-agent outfielder made an official visit.
Hunter was in Detroit to meet with Tigers officials, sources confirmed to CBSSports.com. The Tigers hadn't yet made an official contract offer as of Monday, but it's possible that could come as part of the visit.
"He wants to play there," said one source who has spoken with Hunter.
Hunter told Miller that he only wants a contract that is "fair," but it's expected that his side will look at Carlos Beltran's two-year, $26 million deal with the Cardinals as a fair comparison for an All-Star outfielder in his mid-30s.
The Tigers badly want to sign Hunter, who they see as a perfect fit in the outfield, in their lineup (where he would likely bat second, behind Austin Jackson and in front of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez), and in the clubhouse, where he would be a great influence on Fielder, Jackson and others.
Hunter likes that the Tigers have a team that should contend. Geography could also work in their favor, because Hunter's son Torii Jr. has signed to play football at Notre Dame next year.
Hunter has said that he expects to sign soon. The visit to Detroit could be a step toward getting something done quickly with the Tigers, who have emerged as the clear favorite for his services.