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torii-hunter-wants-to-play-in-atlanta | October | 2007 Articles

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Torii Hunter Wants to Play in Atlanta

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In an interview with Bill Ladson of mlb.com, potential free agent center fielder Torii Hunter said he would like to play in Washington or Atlanta due to the large African American population in the cities.
"I always talk to my wife about being interested in playing in front of the African-American fans and trying to get the African Americans back to playing the game," he said. "If I go to Atlanta or D.C. and make a difference that way, I would love it. Trust me -- D.C. is very interesting to me as well as Atlanta."
Obviously what makes this interesting is that the Braves are looking for a center fielder after Andruw Jones' departure was guaranteed by the front office. Is this a good fit though? I think we can hope all we want but when it comes down to it, Hunter won't be playing in a Braves uniform next year. He may want to play in Atlanta, but the fact of the matter is that the Braves just don't have the money to spend on the Twins center fielder. Hunter, who is coming off a career year could easily get a 5-year deal at $15 million a year on the open market. Unless he is willing to take a significant discount to come play for Bobby Cox, that money is better spent elsewhere. With Hunter, the Braves would not only be locking up a long-term option (and delaying Jordan Schafer), but they'd be forfeiting at least their first round pick, which is not protected this year. Frank Wren does have a good amount to play around and even more if some or all of Edgar Renteria's contract is passed on. If Atlanta wasn't going to give Andruw Jones the five years and $75 million he was asking, then obviously there are other plans for the money. I'll keep saying it, those other plans are Tom Glavine. Crooked Pitch, a fantasy baseball blog, took a look at the 2007 Braves outfield and the fantasy implications of next year's outfield options.

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