Torii signs one-year contract to come 'home' to Twins

Veteran outfielder played first 11 seasons with Minnesota, says this is his last stop

Torii signs one-year contract to come 'home' to Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Torii Hunter is coming home.

The 39-year-old outfielder has signed a one-year, $10.5 million contract with the Twins, the team announced Wednesday. The deal, initially reported Tuesday, had been pending a physical.

"This is where I needed to be," Hunter said at Wednesday's news conference at Target Field. "This is home for me. A lot of people might not agree, but the majority know this is where I need to be at the end of my career to give back. But I can still play a little bit. I've got some bullets left.

"I'm not the guy that's going to turn it around right away, but I really think this ballclub can do some things. I'm here and I'm here to win."

Torii returning to Minnesota

Hunter played the first 11 years of his career with the Twins, who selected him in the first round in the 1993 First-Year Player Draft. He won seven Gold Glove Awards and made two All-Star appearances during his time with the club, hitting .271/.324/.469 with 192 homers, 259 doubles and 126 stolen bases in 1,234 games.

Hunter left Minnesota in 2008 to sign with the Angels before playing the last two seasons with the Tigers in pursuit of his first World Series title. He is a five-time All-Star who won nine straight Gold Glove Awards from 2001-09 and won Silver Slugger Awards in 2009 and '13.

Hunter hit .286/.319/.446 with 17 home runs last season and is a .279/.334/.446 career hitter in 18 Major League seasons.

Neal on Hunter to Twins

Hunter will start in right field for the Twins in 2015, as Oswaldo Arcia will move over from right field to left field. Hunter moved off center field to right field during the 2010 season while with the Angels.

Hunter will bring the Twins much-needed power from the right side after the departure of Josh Willingham, but will also serve as a clubhouse leader and mentor to the club's younger players. Hunter is known as one of the best clubhouse presences in baseball and is very familiar with new manager Paul Molitor.

"We're looking for a guy with presence and the veteranship that he brings to an organization, not only on the field but off," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "We watched him grow as a young man into a veteran type player that's done a lot of good things not only for us, but for other organizations.

"We've got a young club here, we've got young position players. We brought Torii here not only to help them out but also because we believe he can be productive in his own right."

Nelson on Hunter choosing Twins

Hunter was a teammate of Molitor in '97 and '98, although Hunter only played in a combined eight games those two years. But Molitor was also around Hunter while serving as Minnesota's bench coach in 2000 and '01. Hunter was also a teammate of new Twins bullpen coach Eddie Guardado from 1997-2003 and both represented the Twins as All-Stars in 2002.

The Twins had been in contact with Hunter's agent, Larry Reynolds, since early this offseason, but the question was whether Hunter wanted to play for a club that has lost at least 92 games in each of the last four seasons. But Hunter chose the Twins over the Rangers, as Minnesota outbid Texas for Hunter, according to a report by FoxSports.com.

"I promise you, this is my last stop," Hunter said. "It's going to be with the Twins. I'm not playing with anybody else."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.