Hunter was drafted in the first round by Minnesota in 1993 and made his debut for the Twins in 1997. He became a starter and 1999 and played there until 2007, earning seven of his nine Gold Gloves as one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball. After 11 seasons with the Twins he joined the Angels on a five-year, $90 million contract and eventually moved to right field in 2011. His next stop was to Detroit, where he spent the past two years. Hunter hit .286 with 17 home runs in 142 games with the Tigers in 2014.
According to Nightengale, Hunter debated between Minnesota and Texas before deciding to return to the Twin Cities. The Royals were also said to be interested in the 39-year-old outfielder. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted that Minnesota came in with a higher offer than Texas.
2015 will be Hunter’s 17th full season in the majors and the Twins want him to be their everyday right fielder. Another possible motivation behind Hunter’s move is the opportunity to act as a mentor for Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton.
So Hunter returns to the city where he got started in what will likely be his final year. He doesn’t have the ability to make highlight reel grabs like he used to, but it’s lining up to be a fitting end to what’s been a great career for one of the game’s good guys.
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