New York Yankees Lose Phil Hughes In Free Agency

Sep 12, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes (65) throws in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Back in the offseason before the 2008 season, Johan Santana was on the trade block. The New York Yankees wanted the ace lefthander, however, they were reluctant to part with prospect Phil Hughes. Well, a few years later, the Minnesota Twins got their man. They signed the former Yankee right-hander to a three-year deal worth $24 million.

Hughes was called the “Pocket Rocket” when he was coming up, but never really lived up to the nickname. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Hughes didn’t have great moments throughout his Yankee career. Hughes was the primary setup man for Mariano Rivera when the Yankees won their last World Series back in 2009 and was ELITE at it. The next season, he was an All-Star and went 18-8 with a 4.19 ERA. In 2012, he won 16 games for the Yankees.

Last season, in his contract year, was an absolute disaster. He seemed to lose all his confidence, especially at home. Hughes was 1-10 at Yankee Stadium with a 6.32 ERA. His last win for the Yankees was, ironically, against the Twins on July 2nd. Hughes also used to have great run support, something no Yankee pitcher really had in 2013.

Hughes should benefit in going to a bigger park. Hughes gave up 17 of his 24 home runs at Yankee stadium, a number that should drop by starting most of his games at Target Field. Hughes will be a part of a re-made rotation that includes fellow free agent pickup Ricky Nolasco.

So what do the Yankees do? They’ll fill his spot in the rotation. Right now it’s CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova as they wait for Hiroki Kuroda‘s decision and whether or not MLB and the NPB figure out the new posting system.

Good luck to Phil in Minnesota.

Topics: New York Yankees, Phil Hughes

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  • Gregg Brennan

    I had high hopes for Phil, and I thought he’d fulfill them and become the Yanks next great or at least good homegrown starter, but if you can’t pitch in the Stadium, you’re not going to be around for very long. Good luck in Minnesota Phil.

  • Bill B

    On a personal level I hope the best. As a Yankee fan I am happy he is gone. He has not been sharp for years. I think it was a head problem and he needed a change of location.

  • JoeDaBeast

    I echo the comments of Bill and Gregg. I hope the best for Phil, but a pitcher, who can not consistently set up ground balls, will not be productive at Yankee Stadium. Glad the trigger wasn’t pulled anyway, since Johan Santana has had problems since he has been with the OTHER New York team.

  • ikkf

    Phil seems like a stand up guy and I’m happy he got a nice contract. Stoic, deeply religious from what I’ve heard, and never makes excuses– rare qualities in an athlete these days. Wishing him well in his career.

  • Corethree

    Good, now lets ”lose” some more free agents, all of them.

  • Jim Harper

    They gave him every opportunity and was just awful. He has control issues because he leaves too many pitches out over the plate and that is why he gives up so many home runs. In previous years when he did fairly well and a trip to the All Star game was more a case of great run support rather than solid pitching. Lastly he was horribly inconsistent. Glad he is gone.