Nick Swisher isn’t even officially out of town yet, but the Yankees are wasting no time in replacing him and are expected to meet with the agent for free agent outfielder Torii Hunter at the GM meetings this week, according to Ken Davidoff and George King of the NY Post.
The GM meetings start on Wednesday and go through Friday. Yankees GM Brian Cashman is leaving today and will have the opportunity to meet with Hunter’s agent Larry Reynolds sometime this week. Reynolds also represents B.J. Upton, but the Yankees aren’t thought to have much interest in him. Instead they are expected to target Hunter because even at 37, he’s maintained Hall of Fame production and might be willing to accept a smaller, shorter deal than some other outfielders on the market.
By now everyone knows that the Yankees are trying to cut payroll to $189 million by the 2014 season to avoid harsher penalties under the most recent collective bargaining agreement. If Hunter would be willing to sign a one-year deal it’s hard to see the Yankees resisting at any price as that would provide them with a ton of flexibility into the future. They would probably still bite on a two-year pact, but would likely want a smaller average annual salary.
Hunter, 37, hit .313/.365/.451 in 140 games while playing right field for the Angels last year. Over the last three seasons he hit .285/.351/.448 and hasn’t experienced a large decline numbers.