|Monday, October 14
Updated: October 17, 8:29 AM ET
Hunter on starting contract talks: Why not now?
ESPN.com news services
Torii Hunter and the Minnesota Twins failed to reach a multiyear deal last season, but their star center fielder told the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Sunday he's willing to sit down again and negotiate a contract with the club.
"Now that the season is over, we can talk about it," Hunter told the newspaper after Minnesota was eliminated from the postseason Sunday. The Angels won the AL Championship Series in five games with a 13-5 victory in Anaheim, Calif.
"I'm not sure when we will talk, or how soon, but I'm willing to talk now," Hunter said.
Hunter signed a one-year deal worth $2.4 million to avoid arbitration in 2002, but clearly was disappointed not to have struck a multiyear deal. He is eligible for arbitration again this season, but both Hunter and management would prefer to finalize a long-term deal.
According to the Star Tribune, any deal is expected to top $30 million over four years, a conservative estimate in today's baseball market.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan could not be reached by the Star Tribune on Sunday.