Angels decline qualifying offer to OF Torii Hunter

According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, the Angels have declined to make a qualifying offer to OF Torii Hunter.

Hunter is now a free agent, and the Angels will not receive draft compensation from Hunter’s new club, should he sign with another team.

However, according to Fletcher, Angels GM Jerry DiPoto said he would like to bring Hunter back.

In 140 games for the Angels in 2012, Hunter, 37, hit .313 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI with 38 walks and 133 strikeouts in 584 plate appearances. He earned $18 million in the final year of a five-year, $90 million contract he signed with the Angels before the 2008 season.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Posted Oct. 31: Hunter is an interesting player, and someone who could fit into the Mets’ outfield equation. He is overvalued at $13.3 million at this stage of his career, but he is still a quality player and could be viewed as a bargain for less to a lot of different teams. If he doesn’t return to Los Angeles, I wonder if Hunter would consider a move to New York on a short-term deal.

Hunter is no longer an centerfielder, but he is still a very good rightfielder, posting a UZR of 10.4 and a .989 fielding percentage there in 2012. Offensively, his home runs declined in 2012 but he is still a productive hitter, outputting the same number of doubles in 2012 as he did in 2011 in 65 fewer plate appearances. He is also a right-handed bat, which could help restore balance to their lineup.