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Twins interested in Torii Hunter

Minnesota expresses their interest early, per source of Darren Wolfson.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Late last night, ESPN 1500's Darren Wolfson filed a story regarding the Twins already expressing their interest in free agent Torii Hunter. Rules state that teams can reach out to agent in advance of today's official opening of free agency, provided no terms are exchanged or discussed.

Hunter hit .286/.319/.446 in 142 games with the Tigers in 2014, which isn't terrible for a guy who turned 39 in July. (Yes, Torii Hunter is 39.) He accumulated just 0.3 fWAR, his least valuable contribution since 2000, but Hunter's value to the Twins would go beyond his on-field performance. The Twins will want a veteran who can lead by example, and that's a role that Hunter could fill.

There are reasons to shy away from acquisitions like this. While Hunter isn't exactly Jason Bartlett or Jason Kubel, getting the band back together isn't always as great as it sounds. Leadership is a good thing to have in a player, and allowing younger players to have a mentor like Hunter has its advantages, but it's also hard to quantify what that means for a team desperate for players who can produce.

Beyond the should-they-shouldn't-they arguments, there are two other issues to consider: how would the Twins find playing time for Hunter, and would Hunter want to come to Minnesota?

Finding playing time would mean shifting Hunter between corner outfield spots and designated hitter. We know the Twins have an opening in left field, but in a season where he turns 40 it's doubtful we'd see Torii more than necessary. Yes, he played 128 games in right for Detroit this season, but it wasn't pretty. We're used to that from our corner outfielders, but consider this: Hunter was the worst-rated right fielder in the game in 2014. He was potentially the worst defender in the game, never mind right field.

Finally, Hunter knows his playing days are coming to a close. Would he mind book-ending his career in a Twins uniform? Probably not. But you have to imagine that if any offer came from a team with a chance at winning, that could trump any offer Terry Ryan puts on the table. Hunter has seen three American League Champion Series in his career - one with Minnesota, Anaheim, and Detroit - and he's lost them all.

Going full circle and ending where you started is nice. But one last chance at winning the World Series has to be better. I'd be surprised if Torii ended up with the Twins.