It's not just the Minnesota Twins looking to make waves this offseason and return to greatness, one of the franchise's greatest players is mounting a comeback as well.
A few weeks ago, former Twins star Torii Hunter was mentioned in a list of names the Los Angeles Angels were rumored to be looking at as potential managerial candidates. As great as Hunter was for both Minnesota and Los Angeles, his inclusion on the list seemed a bit odd since he's largely been away from the game since retiring back in 2015.
It turns out Hunter not only was truly a candidate when that list was revealed, but now he's reportedly a finalist for the job.
Torii Hunter among finalists for Angels managerial opening
Unlike the Twins, the Angels are facing an offseason that might end with the team deciding to blow things up and rebuild. Shohei Ohtani is likely leaving in free agency, Mike Trout is under contract but his future is uncertain, and the AL West is getting better while the Angels continue to be mediocre.
It feels like the team is about to enter a transitional phase, and that might create a perfect scenario for Hunter to find his way back into the game.
MLB Network's Jon Morosi noted that the Angels could wrap up their managerial search this week, and while Hunter's name is on the list of finalists he's not the most intriguing name. According to Jon Heyman, the list includes Buck Showalter, Ron Washington, and Gary DiSarcina to name a few. It's also been pointed out that while Hunter would be an inspired choice, and is certaintly in the running, Angels owner Art Moreno might want to hire a more experienced manager to try and navigate the team out of the darkness a little quicker.
"Angels did talk to Torii Hunter about manager job, too. He’d be an inspirational choice at some point but it feels at the moment that Arte Moreno prefers big experience," Heyman reported.
Despite this, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported this week that Hunter is being 'seriously considered' for the job alongside other former Angels greats like Tim Salmon and Darin Erstad.
"The Los Angeles Angels are giving serious consideration to former players Torii Hunter, Tim Salmon and Darin Erstad to become their next manager, and plan to interview each of them," Nightengale wrote.
Hunter has been away fromthe game since he retired and has been working on managing his various business interests instead of minor league teams. That's usually the route former players need to go in order to cut their teeth before becoming Big League skippers, but the Angels seem like they're getting creative.
Showalter still feels like the frontrunner for the job, with Washington not far behind, and both fit the bill of reliable veterans who might be able to pull the Angels out of the funk they've been in. Hunter might not get the job this time around, but his name being tossed out with such serious consideration suggests it's not the last time we'll hear his name mentioned in managerial searches.