Their rationale is, basically, the overrated centerfielder they overspent for last offseason sucks, so they should go overspend for another overrated centerfielder this offseason to replace him.
Makes sense to me.
And the normally reasonable Kevin Sherrington is also jumping on the Hunter bandwagon, with the same flawed logic for signing him into his late-30s that others have pushed:
Kevin Sherrington: Hunter is still producing at a high level. Even if you didn't think he could play center in four years, you could easily move him to a corner, where his numbers are still good. Crisp is a nice center fielder, but he lost his job in the playoffs because of his lack offense. The Rangers won't generate power from left or right field next season. You have to make that up somewhere, and Hunter is the only center fielder on the market who can do it.
Trip sounds like an LSB reader.
Okay, I've talked about this before, but let's down it again...
Let's say Hunter signs a 6 year, $100 million deal.
You have him for 2008 and 2009 as a good, if not great, centerfielder, for a team that is rebuilding.
Come 2010, when you expect to be competitive, you are at the point where Hunter's defense may be forcing him to move to a COF slot, something that Sherrington seems to acknowledge would happen by 2011 or 2012.
Hunter had a .277 EQA last year, which, for a right fielder, would be about 5 runs above average. He has a .262 career EQA, which is about 5 runs below average for a right fielder.
Now...is it really realistic to assume that Hunter will be as good a hitter when he's 36, or 37, or 38, as he is now? Isn't your best-case scenario that, the last 3 years of his deal, you are paying $50 million for a good defending corner outfielder with an EQA in the mid-.270s? And isn't it much more likely that he won't be as good a hitter then as he is now, and thus will be an average, at best, right fielder?