- Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer
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He hit .313 with the Angels in 2012, but his five-year, $90 million contract expired after the season, and the Angels declined to make him a $13.3 million qualifying offer. That means the Tigers are not obligated to give the Angels draft-pick compensation in exchange for signing Hunter.
The Tigers struck quickly after having Hunter come to Detroit for a visit Monday. They'll plug him into a lineup that includes Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder and catcher-DH Victor Martinez, who missed the entire 2012 season with a knee injury.
Acquiring a corner outfielder was a major offseason priority for Detroit, and Hunter won nine consecutive Gold Gloves from 2001-09 before gradually switching from center field to right. With the exception of Austin Jackson in center field, the Tigers were largely unimpressive defensively last season.
Detroit went into 2012 hoping for solid production from outfielders like Brennan Boesch and Ryan Raburn, but by the time the postseason started, the Tigers were primarily using Andy Dirks, Quintin Berry and Avisail Garcia alongside Jackson. Dirks had a fine season, hitting .322, but Hunter has a longer track record.
Hunter is also a .289 career hitter against left-handers. The Tigers hit a pedestrian .253 versus southpaws in 2012.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
21hAndrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews