After a mini-renaissance during his time with the Detroit Tigers, veteran outfielder Torii Hunter has no plans of hanging it up any time soon.
The 38-year-old Hunter is very much alive in the 2013 MLB Playoffs with Detroit, but he’s already giving quotes about moving his playing career well past the age of 40. In an interview with MLB.com on Friday, Hunter was quoted as saying that he was “going to play 5 more years”, and that he wanted to “play past (that) contract”. As of now, his contract runs out after the 2014 season, and at the conclusion of that deal, Hunter will be 39 years of age.
This isn’t exactly a shock, as Hunter has been pretty impressive as his age increases. He had an incredible year in 2012 when he was worth 5.2 WAR according to FanGraphs, and this season, he still posted a .304/.334/.465 slash line while scoring 90 runs in only 144 games. It’s perfectly reasonable to expect that Hunter’s production will decline steadily (as his defensive numbers already did between 2012 and 2013), but he could sustain a solid profile into his 40′s.
It’s probably too early to talk about Hunter’s future, with the Tigers very much alive for a World Series berth, but Detroit may have a decision on their hands after the 2014 campaign.