The Minnesota Twins brought back Torii Hunter on a one-year, $10.5 million deal this offseason. While he will play right field and supplement a lineup that overachieved a season ago, his primary focus will also be in mentoring the youth of the organization. Whether he retires after this season or not remains up in the air, but his long-term goals appear clear.
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Much like the Minnesota Timberwolves are seeing in Kevin Garnett, Torii Hunter has front office aspirations when his career ends. Although Hunter lives in the state of Texas, he can easily call Minnesota home. He may not want to buy into the organization like Garnett, but it appears that he would like to lead it.
Bob Nightengale recently did a story on Torii Hunter and his background with his father struggling through addiction. While the majority of the piece revolved around his narrative and tied it to Josh Hamilton, it ended with Hunter talking about his future.
Hunter said, “I really want to get into that front office, make some changes, and build a team that I want to build. I’d love to learn everything from Terry. He’ll be a mentor. One day, that’s my goal, to be GM of the Twins.”
Twins fans are still burning from Terry Ryan appointing Bill Smith as general manager prior to him stepping down a few seasons ago. While Smith made poor decisions that drove the organization into the ground, there’s no question that Hunter would get a resounding recommendation from Ryan following his career. Torii in the front office is something that would have plenty of question marks in its own right, but if he brought the same tenacity as he showed on the field, you’d be hard pressed to bet against him.
At this point in time, it’s hard to think about what’s next for Hunter. The Twins are posied to be a much better team in 2015, and Hunter should be at the center of it. His bat is going to be an asset in the Twins lineup, and another productive season could have Hunter reconsidering any decisions about hanging up his cleats for good.
Whenever Hunter does decide to retire, you can bet that the Twins will be interested in keeping him in the fold.
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