Torii Hunter came away from a recent lunch meeting with General Manager Jerry Dipoto convinced the Angels would make a strong push to re-sign him after his five-year, $90-million contract expires in October.

The 37-year-old right fielder entered Friday with a .305 average, 15 homers and 81 runs batted in and "is playing the best baseball he's played since he signed with us," said Manager Mike Scioscia, who added that Hunter should win his 10th Gold Glove Award.

"I feel that they want me back, but at the same time, things have to align," Hunter said. "If they align, I think I have a very good chance of remaining with this organization."

Dipoto has expressed his admiration for Hunter and a desire to re-sign him, but as Hunter knows, the outfield situation is complicated. Mike Trout has locked up center field, and Mark Trumbo appeared to lock up left field until his recent slump.

Vernon Wells is under contract through 2014 at $21 million a year, and the Angels would like to find a spot for speedy defensive whiz Peter Bourjos. On a bloated $159-million payroll, Hunter's $18-million salary is a logical target to trim.

But Dipoto is expected to exhaust all efforts to trade Wells, and Bourjos, Trumbo or Kendrys Morales could be used in a trade for a starting pitcher or reliever, opening more outfield and designated hitter at-bats.