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Twins Trade Phil Hughes, Draft Pick to San Diego

It’s been a week full of surprises for the Minnesota Twins. Almost a week ago, he was designated for assignment. It looked like the team was going to have to eat over $20 million in salary. For a team and ownership group like the Twins, this was a lot of money left on the table. However, the San Diego Padres came calling this weekend and the Twins were able to strike a deal.
Image courtesy of Jesse Johnson-USA Today Sports
Phil Hughes was traded to San Diego along with cash considerations and the 74th overall pick in June’s Draft. In return, the Twins will receive Janigson Villalobos, a minor league catcher.

Villalobos will be entering his age-21 season and he has yet to play above rookie ball. Last season in 27 games, he hit .275/.367/.388 with eight extra-base hits. He also posted a 23 to 14 strikeout to walk ratio.

Defensively, he’s caught over 415 innings across two seasons. He averages five errors a season and he has a career .977 fielding percentage. Last season, he threw out 11 out of 36 potential base stealers (31% CS). After allowing 12 passed balls during his professional debut, he improved that total to four passed balls in 2017.

Minnesota was on the hook for the $22 million still owed to Hughes and no team was going to take on his contract for free. Reports have the Twins getting $6 million off that total from the Padres so they had to give up the 74th pick in order to get someone to take on some of his pay.

It can be debated if the Twins should surrender a top-100 pick for some salary relief. Some believe this isn't a deep draft and the Twins might like Villalobos better than a player that would be available at 72. Hughes wasn’t coming back to Minnesota and San Diego might be a good landing spot for him.

What are your thoughts on the trade? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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149 Comments

Something is better than nothing I guess.
Very disappointing basically selling 74th pick for 6 million
    • Jerr, Twins33, Bob Sacamento and 6 others like this

Weird. Unlike this regime to give up draft capital for cash capital. Maybe they intend on being big spenders this coming off-season? Or they really, really like Villalobos.

Not a fan, at all. They just gave up a high pick for nothing. Wow. Money talks, I guess.
    • Jerr, Twins33, Bob Sacamento and 6 others like this

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terrydactyls1947
May 27 2018 01:44 PM
In my mind, the question is: Who has more value on June 15, 2018, Villalobos or whomever the Twins would have drafted? Villalobos is comparable to a college-age catcher being selected except he already has two years of professional experience. Getting rid of the Hughes salary for just $6M (assuming that money is spent on contract extensions for young Twins or free agents) is an added bonus. But the value of this trade won't be known for several years and that is frustrating.
    • Sconnie likes this

Well, we shouldn't assume the Pohlad's would eat money if they didn't have to so this isn't a big surprise. Villalobos seems like depth which is nice but the loss of the pick (and the pool money) will hurt us a bit in the draft.

    • Mike Sixel, SF Twins Fan and KirbyDome89 like this
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Winston Smith
May 27 2018 01:50 PM

Didn't they give up a pick for Lynn as well? 

    • nclahammer likes this
I'm shocked they were able to trade him. Basically they gave up a draft pick to save what $6 mil or so and the $800 K on the pick. Oh well, slightly better then eating the whole contract
    • darin617 likes this
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Tom Froemming
May 27 2018 02:39 PM
The system has really nice depth right now, but I still don't like this trade.
    • USAFChief, Jerr, Mike Sixel and 3 others like this

I'm shocked they were able to trade him. Basically they gave up a draft pick to save what $6 mil or so and the $800 K on the pick. Oh well, slightly better then eating the whole contract


How is it better?
    • gunnarthor and SF Twins Fan like this
I don't mind adding a college aged catcher, as was mentioned. Only the Twins really know what potential he has. I like saving the additional $6M and getting out from under the contract to a degree. I don't like losing the draft pick.

A year or two from now, player vs pick could be a wash. Really shocked someone traded for Hughes. Not a fan of the deal, but pretty "meh" on the deal.
    • mikelink45, gagu, nclahammer and 1 other like this

What doth thou mean by "saving"? There is no salary cap in baseball. $6.8 mill for the Pohlads doesn't do much for me.

 

 

    • USAFChief, Mike Sixel, gunnarthor and 4 others like this
Isnt a WAR around 8 million? So as long as the 74th pick and Hughes dont combine to have a net present value of a WAR its a good deal for the Twins. Remember the Pads wont get any value from that pick for 3-5 or even 6 years.

Next years payroll now has very little dead weight and lots of flexibility to make maneuvers next offseason.
    • DocBauer, gagu, SF Twins Fan and 1 other like this
The savings is 7.5 million plus .812 milliin for the pick they arent getting. I bet the Twins have a pretty good idea of about 10-20 potential picks who are likely to be available then and decided the savings was better. Remember the draft is what a week or so out. Not much scouting left to do here.
I am not a fan who roots for efficiency. I want wins. I can't imagine they will be close to this budget next year, with Mauer, Dozier, Lynn, Santana all coming off the books. Probably others too. So, not sure how your calculation matters, unless they spend the money.

Now, if this catcher turns out.... Good trade. But they lose a top pick, and the money that goes with it.
    • gunnarthor, Twins33, Bob Sacamento and 1 other like this
Also i like how its next seasons money we free up and not this seasons.
    • Original Whizzinator likes this

It gives the Twins more flexibility with Payroll, since Hughes will be coming off the books next season now.

 

Looking at the catching depth, the Twins probably should be looking at drafting a catcher, but what would be available comparable in the 74th round.

 

The Twins seem to be in a win-win in a couple of recent drafts, as well as some solid pickups for international monies, so, in hindsight, the farm system has to be sitting pretty good. If you start looking closely at the system, they have too many players right now in the upper ranks (Fort Myers and above) as well as some real promising prospects below. Yes, they all don't pan out...but decisions have to be made on advancement and protection.

 

Right now, catching is a black hole. If the guy is halfway decent, it can be a win for the Twins.

    • DocBauer, CUtomorrownight, gagu and 2 others like this
This trade is about the next moves and not this one. I think the dislike is you need to see the next moves to better judge this one. Is another low level prospect beeter or having 8 million more now while we are in our competetive window?

Yes its an uncapped league but at some point the money does matter, if it didn't you'd have big clubs going around throwing down tens of millions of dollars for all the comp picks. Don't forget, cash can also be converted back into prospects.

    • gagu likes this

It gives the Twins more flexibility with Payroll, since Hughes will be coming off the books next season now.

Looking at the catching depth, the Twins probably should be looking at drafting a catcher, but what would be available comparable in the 74th round.

The Twins seem to be in a win-win in a couple of recent drafts, as well as some solid pickups for international monies, so, in hindsight, the farm system has to be sitting pretty good. If you start looking closely at the system, they have too many players right now in the upper ranks (Fort Myers and above) as well as some real promising prospects below. Yes, they all don't pan out...but decisions have to be made on advancement and protection.

Right now, catching is a black hole. If the guy is halfway decent, it can be a win for the Twins.


How much more payroll can they use, once you take out Mauer, Dozier, Santana, Lynn, and others?

That's over fifty million.... Are we expecting adding another six matters? That would be a lot of signings.
    • Jerr and Tom Froemming like this
8.3 million is savings on this trade
    • Thrylos and Original Whizzinator like this

8.3 million is savings on this trade


Does it matter, given everything else coming off the books?

I can't see them spending sixty plus million in free agents in one year.

The savings is 7.5 million plus .812 milliin for the pick they arent getting.


The Twins also lose .812 million they could have allocated to another selection.

Also, they didn't need to trade the pick to save the bonus money --they could have drafted someone who would sign for a much lower bonus.
    • USAFChief likes this
With santana off the books too that now clears over 70 million off of payroll. And buxton and sano are not doing much to deserve big pay raises, keeping payroll low again...

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