By Shannon Drayer
Perhaps one of the first top-tier free agents to sign this offseason will be Torii Hunter, who told the MLB Network this morning that he will make his decision quickly on what team he will sign with. The Dodgers, Rangers, Tigers, Braves and Yankees are all teams reported to have interest in him.
Hunter is a player the Mariners have had their eye on for some time. What is not clear is how far they would go to attempt to sign the 37-year-old outfielder. He appears to be a good fit in the short term, filling a need in the outfield and batting order. The Mariners would be able to offer him an everyday job, something he is looking for.
Signing Hunter would still appear to be a longshot for the Mariners with World Series contenders in the mix. The Rangers, who practically play in Hunter's back yard in Texas, would most likely be very high on his list.
Playing close to home and staying in the American League are believed to be priorities for Hunter, who expressed a strong desire to stay in Anaheim before the team cut ties with him by not giving him a qualifying offer. With no qualifying offer made, the team that signs Hunter will not have to give up a draft pick.