Torii Hunter, in the midst of a productive stretch as the Angels’ everyday right fielder, on Wednesday said there hasn’t been any recent progress toward a contract extension for him.
Hunter, 37, is eligible for free agency after this season and would like to remain with the Angels. But there’s no guarantee that will happen, particularly if the Angels want to give outfielder Peter Bourjos an everyday job next year, between Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout. If the Angels trade Bourjos for pitching this month, Hunter may have a better chance to remain with the team.
“I’m to the point where I’m not courting anybody,” Hunter said Wednesday. “This is the team I want to be with. I’ve said that publicly. I’ve told them in person. That’s on the business side of it.
“If they’ve got room for me, and they give it to me, I’m here. I owe Arte [owner Arte Moreno] a lot.”
Hunter has a .796 OPS with five home runs in 38 games since returning from the restricted list in late May. He’s been an above-average offensive player for the season overall, with an OPS+ of 116.
Hunter lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and began his career with the Minnesota Twins, making the Rangers and Twins possible destinations if he doesn’t return to the Angels. But he stressed that the Angels will get “first dibs.”
“I love it here,” Hunter said. “As a free agent, I chose here. This is where I wanted to play. It remains that. If my time is up here, then you think about Minnesota, think about Texas. The Angels are No. 1 for me.”
-- Jon Paul Morosi