Tigers reach two-year deal with Torii Hunter

That didn’t take long. A day after Torii Hunter visited Detroit, the free-agent outfielder and the Tigers reached an agreement on a two-year contract, pending a physical. Sources confirmed the deal, first reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Hunter left Detroit Tuesday night and reportedly did not have an offer. The deal came together quickly Wednesday morning.

Hunter not only fills the corner outfield spot that stood as the lone void in the Tigers lineup, he provides Detroit with the right-handed bat it conspicuously lacked throughout the 2012 season in its struggles against left-handed pitching.

Add in Hunter’s proven tablesetting abilities in the second spot — he goes from batting between Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to slotting between Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera — along with his smart baserunning and still-standout defense, and there’s plenty to like for the Tigers in the deal.

While Hunter gets a multi-year contract that will take him just shy of his 40th birthday, the Tigers get the future flexibility to mix top prospects Avisail Garcia and Nick Castellanos into their outfield. Garcia was a postseason hero for Detroit at age 21, while Castellanos knocked on the door of a September call-up at age 20.

Both could benefit greatly from working with Hunter, whose impact was credited by AL Rookie of the Year and MVP candidate Mike Trout for helping him adjust so quickly to the big leagues with the Angels.

Jason Beck

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