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Twins "aggressive" in pursuit of Torii Hunter and need to stop

A mainstream splash does not a good signing make.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Let's say the Twins beat the odds and sign Torii Hunter. Maybe nobody with a chance of a division title wants him; maybe the Twins' offer is too good to refuse; maybe Hunter knows he won't get many offers this winter and just wants to take a job so, hell, why not take one to bookend the career. Whatever the circumstances, what happens if the Twins sign Torii Hunter?

The major networks might talk about how great of a signing it is - the narrative will be great, what with Hunter signing so quickly with his original team not to say anything of the stipulations of the contract. But there would soon follow the analysis - Hunter, a useful player, signing with a team that doesn't need designated hitter options but desperate for an outfielder with legs that work; the confusion about where the playing time would come from, with an organization focused on getting its young talent ready.

Steamer projects Hunter will hit .275/.320/.415 in 2015, in a season where he will turn 40. That's pretty damned good, all things considered. It just doesn't make sense for the Twins. There are plenty of guys who will vie for the designated hitter's plate appearances when Kennys Vargas is either playing first base or otherwise out of the lineup; Hunter roaming the outfield wouldn't actively make the team more likely to win games.

The Minnesota Twins don't have many places where a free agency or a trade acquisition would make a great deal of sense, considering the plethora of young players needing (or who will this year eventually need) playing time. Yet there are a variety of ways to make those improvements at those few open positions. Signing Torii Hunter just isn't one of them. Not right now.

Fast forward to late January. Maybe the Twins need a veteran leader. Maybe they know they'll be able to give 50 plate appearances a month to someone who can flip between a corner outfield spot, occasional designated hitter spots, and some work off of the bench as a pinch hitter. That's the circumstance under which the Twins signing Hunter makes sense.

Not now. Not right now. Go get better, Twins.