Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Proposed Deal: If I Were GM

Phil Hughes
I was looking through the free agent list of starting pitchers in the offseason, to see if there were any interesting targets for the Padres to go after, and one name caught my eye. Phil Hughes is a 27-year old righty who has thrown for the Yankees his entire career, and has been mediocre. In parts of seven seasons, the hurler has put up a 55-42 record (mediocre for a Yankee) and a 4.47 ERA. He tends to have a high strike out rate and a low walk rate, which is always good, and give up a fair amount of home runs. The home run prone Hughes would thrive in a pitcher's park like PETCO (still a pitcher's park, just not as extreme as before).

Hughes is the absolue perfect trade deadline acquisition for the Padres. I honestly couldn't think of a better target. For a young team that doesn't have many players that have been in the spotlight and have postseason experience, Phil Hughes boasts 7 years in a Yankee uniform, and about 40 innings of postseason baseball. This season, Hughes is 3-6 with a 5.09 ERA, so he is a buy low. I think if he pitches well in San Diego, and likes it, he becomes more than a rental. A four or five year deal keeps him in San Diego until age 31 or 32, so it isn't as risky as usual with a free agent pitcher, since he is so young.

With Michael Pineda coming back from an injury, an underperforming Phil Hughes might end up being the odd man out. A trade to San Diego benefits all three parties involved. The Yankees add whatever prospects the Padres give in the deal and open a spot for Pineda, as well as gain salary relief (to get under the luxury tax). Hughes gets to lay low in San Diego and make the media go away, and San Diego gets a veteran leader who will move from the AL East to the NL West from one of the most hitter friendly parks to the most pitcher friendly park in the majors. I think Hughes could be exactly what the Padres are looking for.

Proposed Deal:

Padres Acquire:
RHP Phil Hughes

Yankees Acquire:
RHP Brad Boxberger
RHP Miles Mikolas

I personally think that New York would be looking for some young relievers to deepen a bullpen that is  losing Mariano Rivera, the second best closer of all time. Boxberger and Mikolas are two high upside arms that could end up successful in New York. 

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