Don’t Expect Hunter to Wait

Posted on October 29th, 2007 – 8:16 AM
By La Velle

What’s up! I’m back from K.C., where my first five picks of my fantasy hoops draft went like this: 1. (first overall): Kobe Bryant. 2.(24th): Andre Iguodala. 3. (25th): Deron Williams. 4. (48th) Mehmet Okur. 5. (49th). Jason Richardson. Thanks for the suggestions.

Anyway, just wanted to address the Torii Hunter situation. I expect Hunter to file for free agency today and get his offseason rolling. Hunter and his agent, Larry Reynolds, are anxious to see what’s out there on the free agent market, and the Twins, frankly, don’t have the financial muscle to offer a proactive deal to keep Hunter from shopping around. (Won’t offer a proactive deal is more accurate, thanks Shawn!)

It’s really a sign that Hunter’s days as a Twin are numbered. He’ll get some nice offers, perhaps as long as five years, which the Twins can’t hang with.

If the Twins do part ways with Hunter, it will be a sad day in the Twin Cities for all the fans who have grown to love and support Hunter. But the sadness should only last for a day. There’s $12 million of his 2007 salary that will be available to invest in other players, and that’s where the interest should be in.

Here’s a suggestion for a solution: Coco Crisp. The Red Sox have the emerging Jacoby Ellsbury to play in center, which could make Covelli (Coco’s real name) available. He makes $4.75M in 2008, $5.75M in 2009 and there’s a 2010 option for 2010.

Coco has hit .264 and .268 in two seasons in Boston after batting around .300 for two seasons with Cleveland. He can run and plays fairly well in center. I wish he’d walk more, but he did walk a career high 50 times this season and will turn 28 next month.

The Twins can use the savings to address offense issues at third base and designated hitter. It will be tough to lose the 26-30 homers and 90-100 RBI Torii brought, but maybe the Twins can absorb most of it with improvements at third base and DH.

By the way, I’m against some suggestions of going after Marcus Giles. But I’m all for taking a chance on Jason Bay.

Another thing. I think it’s awful that A-Rod and agent Scott Boras would step all over the World Series by releasing their plans to opt-out of his contract with the Yankees. What a lack of respect.¬† Has A-Rod ever helped a team reach the World Series? And Boras’ explanation that A-Rod wasn’t sure about the return of Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte is ridiculous. The Yankees can any hole with cash – and they’ve released plans to offer Posada a nice extension.

That’s all. Joe C. is in the baseball bureau¬†today and will be all over any news….

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