Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
The Red Sox have a hole in their outfield, but apparently, everyone else does, too
The Red Sox need help in their outfield, possibly at two positions. Torii Hunter is an outfielder, one Boston has expressed interest in. The problem is that the Red Sox are far from alone in needing help in their outfield, and Hunter has many suitors to negotiate with. The fact he didn't receive a qualifying offer helps his popularity considerably, as he won't cost whoever his new team happens to be a compensation pick in next year's June draft.
The Yankees are intrigued by Torii Hunter, given they are possibly losing Nick Swisher when he finds the big-money deal he's looking for. The Tigers let Delmon Young walk, with no intention of ever going down that particular road again, and would love to add another useful defender to their outfield. Hunter is that guy, and he's been linked to Detroit. The Rangers, too, have looked at Hunter, as they search for a way to make their outfield productive without Josh Hamilton in it. All three of these teams have the financials to get a deal done, though, with the Yankees looking to stay under the luxury tax in 2014, they might be a bit more limited than they normally are in this regard. Maybe not enough to slow their chase, though, if they really want Hunter in their outfield.
Then there are the Dodgers, who already have a full outfield made up of Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier. It turns out that Torii Hunter's agent approached Los Angeles, maybe with the Andre Ethier trade rumors fresh in his mind. And, of course, Boston, who as was stated, has at least one hole, if not two, in their outfield to fill. Regardless of which team it is, Hunter reportedly wants to figure it out fast. Boston has other targets in mind, but they also have a patient front office, so it's tough to peg if this works for, against, or doesn't change anything in their pursuit of the outfielder.
Hunter has his risks, but there's also upside in the right environment. There's reason to believe Fenway is that environment. With all of these other teams looking to snag him for their own outfields, though, Boston might be in for some serious competition financially. And while the Red Sox have the money to spend, they would also have to convince Hunter that they are playoff-bound. Hunter, who has been in the majors full-time since 1999, has yet to win a World Series. And that's where he'd like to end up before the end of what could be his last contract in the bigs.