Phil Hughes signs with Minnesota Twins
"A dismal season did not prevent Phil Hughes from receiving a multi-year deal as a free agent. Hughes, the 27-year-old right-hander who disappointed so greatly during his final season as a Yankee, has agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal with Minnesota, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
It was a precipitous fall for a player once ticketed for stardom in The Bronx. Baseball America considered him the fourth-best prospect in the game before the 2007 season. But like his teammate Joba Chamberlain, Hughes saw his ascent ruined by injuries. He never threw 200 innings. He never developed a reliable offspeed pitch. He never became the player the Yankees dreamed on.
Yet Hughes, a first-round pick in 2004, cannot be considered a complete disappointment. As a reliever in 2009, he was a critical component in the bridge to closer Mariano Rivera, and contributed to a World Series title. He rallied to win 18 games in 2010, his first season as a full-time starter, and 16 more in 2012.
When last year began, the team was confident he could contribute to their cause in two ways: First, on the diamond, and later as a free agent who brought them back an extra drafk pick.
Hughes provided the club neither. He was abysmal at the start of the season, and his finish was worse. The team could not risk granting him the $14.1 million qualifying offer, and so he did not fetch them any compensation.
His contract fits in line with others granted this winter. Jason Vargas, a more durable left-hander with equally modest statistics, recently received a four-year, $32 million contract from Kansas City."
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