• Is Phil Hughes A Goner?

    Posted by on November 29th, 2007 · Comments (15)

    I didn’t think it was possible – until today. If you start to pull together the pieces that are out there now…the recent Twins-Rays trade creating the need for major league ready pitching in Minny if Santana goes now too, the report that the Twins asked for Hughes, and the report that the Red Sox are close to presenting an acceptable offer to the Twins for Santana…I can just see the Yankees, now, saying “If we want this to happen, we have to give up Hughes.”

    Even Phil Hughes knows it. From the Daily News today:

    “It’s not like you can get a guy like Santana away from the Twins for nothing. It’s nice that other teams think highly of me, but I’m very happy with where I’m at. I’d love to stay,” said Hughes, who went 5-3 with a 4.46 ERA in 13 starts for the Yankees this year. “I would definitely be disappointed, but it’s business.”

    “I’ve always had the mind-set of coming up and playing for the Yankees,” Hughes said. “I’d love to stay, but I understand at the same time that it’s a business. There’s not much you can do about it.”

    I still see Andy Benes when I see Phil Hughes. Maybe he’s not a stud? Some others, including the Yankees, have wondered about Hughes’ “stuff” this season.

    Then again, Phil Hughes did look like something special in the ALDS this October.

    If the Yankees trade Hughes for Santana, would it work out (for New York) like the time that the Yankees traded Doug Drabek for Rick Rhoden? Or, will it work out like it did for Boston when the Red Sox traded Carl Pavano for Pedro Martinez?

    I don’t think that anyone, for sure, knows the answer. But, what I do know today is that, despite what I thought coming into this day, I think there’s now a strong chance in Yankeeland that Phil Hughes might be a goner.

    If true, it will interesting to see the reaction of Yankees fans.

    Comments on Is Phil Hughes A Goner?

    1. jonm
      November 29th, 2007 | 10:10 am

      Steve, you really should warn us that you’re linking to a Wallace Matthews article (he’s the hackiest of the hacks)!

      Even if Hughes is Andy Benes, how much better would Santana be over the next six years than the first six years of Benes’ career?


      He’d probably be a little better, but I’m not sure that difference covers for his very large salary and the loss of additional Yankee players.

    2. November 29th, 2007 | 10:16 am

      jonm – FWIW, Wallace Matthews did have this in his column today:

      ~~~An organizational source told me yesterday they would now consider parting not just with Kennedy or Hughes, but Kennedy and Hughes plus Cabrera, if that’s what it takes.~~~

      ~~~”With Hank in charge, the feeling is we’ve got to win now,” the source said. “We’ve got to show our fans we’re not waiting around, that we’re committed to winning right away.”~~~

      He wouldn’t make that up, would he?

    3. Rich M
      November 29th, 2007 | 10:42 am

      “We’ve got to show our fans we’re not waiting around, that we’re committed to winning right away.”

      Seems to be an odd quote. Wasnt it just a month ago when Hank was preaching patience?

    4. Rich
      November 29th, 2007 | 10:46 am

      If that’s true (and I’m not saying that it is), I’m not sure I can root for the Yankees.

    5. jonm
      November 29th, 2007 | 10:54 am

      I don’t think that Matthews would make that up, but I do think that he is such an idiot and has such low credibility that Yankee people/agents would have a tendency to leak false information to him. Probably, Matthews would not even remember that he had been lied to.

    6. Rich M
      November 29th, 2007 | 10:54 am

      If it is true that they would give up both Hughes and IPK your rotation is what?

    7. November 29th, 2007 | 11:02 am

      Rich M – remember Mussina?

    8. Raf
      November 29th, 2007 | 11:08 am

      Rich M – remember Mussina?
      I think he was trying to forget 🙂

    9. jonm
      November 29th, 2007 | 11:10 am

      Here’s an interesting take on the Yankees’ prospects from the perspective of a smart Twins fan:

      Reading that, it makes me even more convinced that it would be a mistake to trade Hughes.

    10. Rich M
      November 29th, 2007 | 11:23 am

      Forgot about Moose. But does he give you anything more than the guys on the end of that list? Experience? Maybe but his one decent start a month surrounded by three or four where he cant get out of the fifth inning wont be much better than those guys.

    11. baileywalk
      November 29th, 2007 | 11:44 am

      Matthews’ article is ridiculous. An unnamed source says “We got some good young pitchers in ‘A’ ball right now that might make us forget all about Hughes and Kennedy…” He must have been talking to the guy who sells Cracker Jacks, because only a moron would say or believe this. A team like the Yankees knows how hard it is to develop pitching; more than anyone, they should know that A-ball success is a guarantee of zero.

      Are we really back to the Andy Benes stuff with Hughes? Are people really going to start questioning his ability again because of a few bad starts in a rookie season (which included an injury)? The reaction to Hughes more or less shows that the Yankees and its fans have not had a true pitching prospect in a long time: they expect a 21 year old to be a world-beater right out of the gate without a wrinkle. I hope they don’t call Joba a hack when he takes his first shelling.

      I guess you can make a case that trading Hughes for Santana is a justified move, but long-term and financially, I think it’s stupid. And if they do trade him, I think it will be hard for me to care about this team anymore. Sigh, I suppose I’ll be a Twins fans. Ha, ha, ha.

    12. brockdc
      November 29th, 2007 | 1:36 pm

      “We’ve got to show our fans we’re not waiting around, that we’re committed to winning right away.”

      Is this what it’s come to? What amounts to focus-grouping Yankee fans to see how they want to franchise to be run? I’ve read some of the posts on LOHUD and NYY Fans, and all I have to say is…yikes.

      Also, I fail to see how this move would make the Yankees better now or in the future. You’re still trading 300+ innings for 200 in return – and a cheap, young, league average centerfielder (Melky) for yet another expensive vet on a precipitous decline (Damon). Yep, sure sounds like a dynasty in the making to me.

    13. Josh
      November 29th, 2007 | 2:05 pm

      Some of the posts here are truly mystifying. Johan Santana is the best pitcher in baseball and at 29 should have many good years left. Phil Hughes, while unquestionably a high-ceiling prospect, is still unproven. The Yankees are in serious need of a shut-the-lights power starter (the absence of one played no small role in this yr’s early exit from the playoffs. If trading Hughes is what it takes to get Santana, you do it (and I say this as a huge Hughes fan). I really think it is a no-brainer.

      A rotation of Santana, Wang, Chamberlain, Mussina and perhaps Pettite/Kennedy would be formidable.

    14. Don
      November 29th, 2007 | 2:51 pm

      Hank & Patience don’t seem to go together. A-Freud comes hat-in-hand and Hank throws the checkbook at him.

      Posada has lunch with the Mets and Hank caves, and gives a fourth year to an aging catcher.

      The acorn does not fall far from the tree.

    15. ken
      December 1st, 2007 | 12:04 am

      ~~~~~Some of the posts here are truly mystifying. Johan Santana is the best pitcher in baseball….. ~~~~~

      Thanks, Josh, for putting proper perspective on this whole issue. It’s about Santana, a rare talent, and what he could bring. I swallow hard and make this trade.

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