By Joe Christensen
1) As a beat writer, the first thing you do is kick yourself for not knowing, for not having one word about Torii Hunter in the morning paper. But after shouting a few choice words this morning (Sorry, Julie) and hearing the details from Los Angeles, I felt better. The Angels didn’t start spreading the news until after midnight (Central) last night. The teleconference with Torii started at 1:15 a.m.
2) Since the Hunter news overshadowed it, here’s what I worked on yesterday. Got an e-mail asking me if Johan asked for $126 million over seven years or five years. Actually, I’m not sure. All I heard was $126 million. Zito got that for seven years, but I had a person tell me today that the way this market is headed, Johan could command $25 million per year.
3) Here’s a quote I didn’t use today that needs to be heard. It’s from Larry Reynolds, Hunter’s agent: “I’m sure the Twins have in their mind what they can and cannot do, and we respect that. It’s important for the fans in Minnesota to understand that Torii cherished his time there. In the end, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
4) From what I gathered, these were the final offers:
Twins: 3 years/$45 million
White Sox: 5/75 (with strong hints that more was coming)
Rangers: 5/75 (with an option for a sixth year that would have brought it to $84m)
Angels: 5/90 (with a complete no-trade clause).
5) Hunter’s breakdown: “I was actually close with Chicago because they really have a chance to win in Chicago. Other teams were kind of a year away. I could have done the Royals, I could have done the Rangers for sure and several other teams. With the Dodgers, I didn’t get a chance to get to those guys because it was so late. I think they were going a different route.
“[The Angels] came and swept me off my feet. I never thought the Angels would be the team to step up and get it done. If you ask what team I would want to play for out there, it would be the Halos. But I knew I couldn’t because they had Gary Matthews Jr. So they were straight in the outfield.”
6) So what do the Twins get for their trouble? Because Hunter is a Type A free agent, the Twins will get the Angels’ 2008 first-round draft pick (No. 27 overall) and a compensation pick between the first and second rounds.
7) A quick word of thanks here to La Velle for jumping on the story with me, even though he was supposed to have the holiday off. Hope you can enjoy the rest of the time with your family in Chicago.
8) Finally, apologies to Mom, Grandma, Grandpa and the Olson family. Sorry I missed the Thanksgiving feast.