SBR’s weekly hot stove report already nailed the destination for two of the most coveted free agents before they joined Boston last week and we continue our dogged determination to get a jump on the MLB futures odds in order to target the best betting line at the best price.
Tori Hunting for a Home
At 39-years-old, Tori Hunter is now a peripheral piece to any team’s puzzle but he is an outstanding clubhouse guy who will be a valuable mentor to the young guns looking to claim their roster spots. Hunter once possessed a thunderous bat and was a speed merchant on the base paths but those days are long gone and hard to find. However, he is durable and shows up to play every day while still generating enough offense to make him viable.
It appears he won’t be returning to the Tigers after posting solid numbers including a .286 batting average, 17 homeruns and 83 RBI’s. And though he may not remain in Motown, Hunter is slated to stay in the American League where he can patrol right field and platoon as a designated hitter. It is reported that the five-time All-Star is looking to end his career on a contender and thus his 2015 home will not necessarily be predicated by the highest bidder. The Royals, among several other teams, have expressed interest but KC may have the inside track due to their success last season. The MLB odds would probably not be affected but it could bolster a young team that enjoyed a Cinderella season in ’14.
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Around the Horn
Unlike Tori Hunter, it is reported that Melky Cabrera is looking for the highest bidder to render his services. Cabrera is eyeing a stadium with natural grass which would preclude his return to the Blue Jays unless they are indeed the most lucrative financial destination.
The Boston Red Sox have a logjam in the outfield and trade rumors abound that the oft injured Shane Victorino may be the trade bait used by Boston to secure some badly needed pitching. When healthy, Victorino is a force to be reckoned with and plays a superior brand of defense. The Flyin’ Hawaiian is in the last year of a three-year $39 million pact.
If the Sox decide that Victorino is in their plans for the 2015 season then the rumor that the Marlins are asking about Boston’s Allen Craig could have merit as Craig is in no man’s land at this point and the Marlins would be looking to use the veteran at first base. Would this affect either teams’ MLB odds going forward? We don’t believe so but the Marlins shocked the baseball world when they signed the fearsome Giancarlo Stanton to a long term mega-deal and Craig could add a nice dimension to their offense if he regains his previous form.
The MLB odds makers may be inching their line down just a tad on Cleveland if the Indians make a gambit for former Padre/Yankee Chase Headley. The Gold Glove third baseman saw his production slip over the past two seasons from his career year in 2012 when he slammed 31 homeruns and drove in 115 RBI’s for the Padres. The Yankees are also interested in bringing back Headley and so too are the defending World Series champs as the San Francisco Giants may also have a target on the veteran third-baseman back now that Pablo Sandoval has taken his talents to Boston.
Big bopper Jay Bruce saw his power numbers plummet last season but there are whispers that the Toronto Blue Jays are in the hunt to procure his services from Cincinnati in exchange for one of their starting pitchers.
Keep tuned into SBR’s weekly Hot Stove report and watch the MLB odds fluctuate as the teams wheel and deal.