• Yanks Set To Offer Hughes To Twins

    Posted by on November 30th, 2007 · Comments (13)

    Looks like my gut was right. From the Daily News -

    After two days of internal discussions among front-office executives, the Yankees swallowed hard Friday and decided to offer Phil Hughes to the Twins as part of the trade package they hope will land them Johan Santana.

    “We’re going for it,” was the way one club source put it.

    According to the club source, there was spirited internal debate in the organization via conference calls about whether to make Hughes available.

    Among the prominent people on the calls were GM Brian Cashman in New York, and owner Hank Steinbrenner and superscout Gene Michael in Tampa. Though the club source wouldn’t say who needed to be convinced, it is no secret that Cashman has wanted to build the team around young, homegrown players, and saw the three pitchers as the centerpiece.

    In any case, the club finally agreed to put Hughes in a package that includes center fielder Melky Cabrera and at least one other lesser pitching prospect still to be negotiated, as of Friday night. And by doing so they believe they are the front-runners to land Santana, the two-time Cy Young winner.

    April 1, 1982: The Yankees traded Gene Nelson with a player to be named later (Bobby Brown) and Bill Caudill to the Seattle Mariners for Shane Rawley.

    December 5, 1984: The Yankees traded Jose Rijo with Tim Birtsas, Jay Howell, Stan Javier, and Eric Plunk to the Oakland Athletics for Rickey Henderson, Bert Bradley, and cash.

    April 30, 1989: The Yankees traded Al Leiter to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jesse Barfield.

    I can’t think of any other recent cases where the Yankees had a pitcher at the big league level, age 22 or younger, who was “home grown” and then traded away before (or darn near) his 23rd birthday.

    Nelson, Rijo, Leiter…and, now, Hughes?

    Well, for sure, you don’t see this everyday.

    Update, 11/30/07, 11:33 pm EST: I stand corrected on Gene Nelson. The Yankees picked him up in a trade with the Rangers – while he was in the minors. Mea culpa. Nelson was not “home grown.”

    So, this makes it just Rijo, Leiter…and, now, Hughes?

    Just three cases in, what I would guess is, the last half-century of Yankees baseball.

    Comments on Yanks Set To Offer Hughes To Twins

    1. brockdc
      December 1st, 2007 | 12:04 am

      This is just flat-out upsetting. I know I should be happier about the impending acquisition of the best pitcher and baseball, but I just don’t think it’s worth giving up a 22-year-old potential ace along with the current starting centerfielder for – in addition to the obligatory and astronomical long-term contract that such a deal will require.

      That Cashman has been vetoed also makes me wonder whether he’s on his way out sooner rather than later. As I recall, his most recent contract was contingent on having full autonomy as the Yanks’ G.M. Clearly, that is no longer the case.

    2. brockdc
      December 1st, 2007 | 12:11 am

      I just realized my above post overvalues Melky just a wee bit. But I fear that dealing him will force yet another knee-jerk massive overpayment for the likes of Rowand or Jones. In fact, I will expect it, as filling roster needs in a creative, frugal, efficient way has seemingly become quaint.

    3. December 1st, 2007 | 12:20 am

      Please dont let this happen.

    4. Nick from Washington Heights
      December 1st, 2007 | 1:12 am

      I’m not thrilled by having to give up Hughes, but, guys, this isn’t Rick Rhoden. It’s Johan Santana. He’s been the best pitcher in baseball for the last four years.

      I’m definitely conflicted about this. A lot of it has to do with how cool it is to see a young player develop before your eyes. But I don’t think it’s a nightmare if it happens. Again, he is the best possible pitcher any team can add.

    5. Rich
      December 1st, 2007 | 1:50 am

      This is about Hank’s ignorance and personal psychology. Rather than holding firm, he has probably been persuaded by reading mediots like Sherman and Klapisch, and after having been humiliated as a younger man by his father when he worked for the Yankees in the ’80s, he has a need to show the world that he now owns the keys to the castle. So he has folded up like a cheap suit.

      The problem is that the Twins realize that they are dealing with a fool, and they now want Hughes and Kennedy.

    6. SF Yanks
      December 1st, 2007 | 1:55 am

      This is an effin joke right? Where do I hand in my Yankee Fan For Life Card and where can I sign up for the Twins For Life Club.

      Damn it! I’m seriously pissed right now. If this goes through…I don’t know yet…Hughes was my guy…

    7. MJ
      December 1st, 2007 | 7:40 am

      Steve, what about Doug Drabek? The Yanks didn’t draft him (the White Sox did), but he broke in with the Yanks as a 23 year old and was traded for Rick Rhoden and then went on to win a Cy Young and a couple of divisions for the Pirates in the early 1990′s.

      My main issue with this trade, as it’s always been, is giving up talent AND money when a little patience might either drive down Minnesota’s price or he hits free agency and it takes only money to sign him.

      It bothers me to think that Crisp/Lester was the centerpiece of Boston’s offer and that the Yanks would feel like they would have to top that kind of a joke offer with Hughes/Cabrera. Hughes/Cabrera are both better than Lester.

      I know how good Santana has been over the past four years as a starter. I just don’t have the confidence that he’ll be as good going forward. Certainly not good enough to justify the length and terms of the contract. Boston wins again because they bullied the Yanks into yet another reactionary decision.

      I am rooting very hard against this trade. Santana will end up sucking for the Yanks, I just have this feeling.

    8. Corey
      December 1st, 2007 | 9:32 am

      Why is everybody so much higher on hughes then IPK? IPK is a former pitcher of the year. Not to mention his overall numbers for the year, minor plus major, are better then hughes or joba for that matter. I say let hughes go, i’ll stick with IPK

    9. JeremyM
      December 1st, 2007 | 9:54 am

      Did the Yankees really buy that garbage about Coco Crisp and Lester? If this is all true, the Yankees are getting played. And of course the Twins can smell blood and are going to squeeze a little harder, and hopefully the Yankees will back off a little. Now granted, this is a tough deal to analyze because Santana is a stud, but when you figure they’re going to shell out big bucks for Santana and then they’ll probably shell out for a center fielder, it just doesn’t add up.

      I’m kind of hoping that the Yankees are looking to pull a “David Justice,” meaning they end up trading for someone that wasn’t really on the radar, like a Dan Haren. But we’ll see.

    10. A Tampa Yankee in King George's Court
      December 1st, 2007 | 10:20 am

      MJ

      You hit the nail right on the head. That Red Sox offer was garbage but unfortunately for the Yanks, other teams in baseball dont appear to be able to recognize the Red Sox garbage. There is no way we can take the chance that the Twins might actually accept that garbage offer because that is a very real possibilty that they would.

    11. December 1st, 2007 | 11:31 am

      ~~~Steve, what about Doug Drabek? The Yanks didn’t draft him (the White Sox did), but he broke in with the Yanks as a 23 year old and was traded for Rick Rhoden and then went on to win a Cy Young and a couple of divisions for the Pirates in the early 1990′s.~~~~

      MJ, note, for this study, I used “cases where the Yankees had a pitcher at the big league level, age 22 or younger, who was “home grown” and then traded away before (or darn near) his 23rd birthday.”

    12. baileywalk
      December 1st, 2007 | 1:56 pm

      Well, it’s all basically been said already, but…

      The Yankees are idiots. Not because they want to trade Hughes, but because of how they’re negotiating.

      Everyone keeps saying the Red Sox forced the Yanks or pushed the Yanks, but in actuality, they haven’t even begun to do that yet! That’s what is so silly. The Twins wanted Jacoby Ellsbury or Clay Buchholz and the Sox refused on both players. So the Sox won’t even consider parting with their two best prospects, but the Yankees immediately fold and offer their best? The Red Sox offer was crap: they were trying to push a player they didn’t even want (Crisp) and who they were desperate to get rid of on the Twins. They were using a deal for the best pitcher in baseball to salary-dump Crisp and the Yankees felt pressure to give up their best starting pitching prospect? Even if the Twins flat-out said “We won’t take Ian Kennedy, Melky, etc., it HAS to be Hughes,” well, you wait them out a bit — you don’t just cave. It sounds like the Angels have no interest and the Dodgers aren’t in it either. The Red Sox and Yanks are the only ones in this it would seem and the Sox offer isn’t that good. I just don’t understand why they folded like they did. Maybe it was Hank — who knows. But they’ve been played.

      Giving up Hughes is a mistake. We’re going to watch him flourish with the Twins while Satana breaks down late in his contract. That should be real fun.

      The Yankees can go ahead and make this trade — they are getting something good back — but Yankee fans can NEVER again look at the A’s or the Twins or the Tigers and boohoo about not having good young pitching. Because we had a great young pitcher and gave him away.

    13. baileywalk
      December 1st, 2007 | 2:00 pm

      Why is everybody so much higher on hughes then IPK? IPK is a former pitcher of the year. Not to mention his overall numbers for the year, minor plus major, are better then hughes or joba for that matter. I say let hughes go, i’ll stick with IPK

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