If Mark Teixeira were the Yankees' general manager, he just might go the extra mile to sign free agent outfielder Torii Hunter.

"I love Torii," Teixeira said of his ex-teammate from the second half of the 2008 season in Anaheim. "He doesn't make our team younger, but he does make it a little bit more balanced. You have a right-handed hitting outfielder, a guy that can steal bases [who is] still a very productive player."

But the Yankees would have to extend a two-year offer to get Hunter, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, and the club has shown a reluctance to do so. Tuesday, Hunter met with the Tigers and he's also been linked to the Rangers — the team closest to his Texas home.

Teixeira not only sees the merit of signing Hunter, 37, who batted .313 with 16 homers, 92 RBI and nine stolen bases this season with the Angels, but the Yanks' first baseman puts a premium on re-signing aging veterans Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda.

"We have a bunch of older guys, but in certain times that experience really helps," said Teixeira, a panelist Tuesday at Yankee Stadium for a Beyond Sport United community-relations event.

"We've had a, quote, old team for all four years I've been here, but … we've had an amazing run for anybody but the Yankees," Teixeira said of the club's best overall record in the AL since 2009, and three ALCS appearances and the only world championship by an AL club.

"There isn't anybody in our clubhouse that is happy about what happened the last three years," he said, "because we didn't win the World Series."

Teixeira wasn't thrilled by his statistics this year either (.251, 24 HR, 84), which mark the first time he's missed reaching 30 homers and 100 RBI since his rookie season of 2003. But he played through a persistent cough diagnosed after two months as nerve damage to his vocal chords and missed most of September due to a calf strain.