Frustrated by unsuccessfully attempting to woo free agents Mark Teixeira and Carl Crawford to the Angels in past offseasons, Torii Hunter said yesterday that he’s done trying to recruit players to join him in California.
“I’m retired,” Hunter told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. “It hasn’t been working out. If somebody wants to call and talk to me about Anaheim, that’s fine. I’ll talk to them.”
Hunter is still owed $18 million next year in the final season of a five-year, $90 million deal, but as a 35-year-old hitting just .255 with 14 homers and a .733 OPS for his lowest mark since 2000 he’s unlikely to be with the Angels beyond 2012.
“Come play with me … for one season” probably wouldn’t have been much of a recruiting pitch anyway.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.