The first free agent signing doesn't involve the Orioles

The first free agent signing doesn't involve the Orioles
November 15, 2012, 8:30 am
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The first big signing in this year’s free agent market was Torii Hunter.

On Wednesday, the 37-year-old agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal with Detroit. Hunter has played 11 seasons with Minnesota and the last five with the Los Angeles Angels.

Hunter has had a fine career, just three home runs short of 300, two seasons of 100 or more RBIs, and last year hit over .300 for the first time.

Four times an All-Star, nine Gold Gloves, six postseason appearances, but no World Series.

The Angels made a one-year qualifying offer, which Hunter declined. It’s understandable if he wanted a two-year contract that would take him to 39 and a chance to play for the Tigers, who act is if they’re a b big market team.

He’s not a player who had been linked with the Orioles. As good as Hunter’s been, he wasn’t going to displace Adam Jones in center field or Nick Markakis in right. Hunter has played just 17 games in left, and hasn’t started a game there since 1999.

There will be several more Hunters in the market, players who are really good, but just don’t fit. But, if it’s January 15—not November 15, and some of the others haven’t signed, they may be a lot more tempting. The guess here is that the market will be robust, and the Orioles are aggressive lookers, but not aggressive buyers.