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Rosario Placed on Outright Waiver

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:22 PM
https://www.mlbtrade...ht-waivers.html So long, at least temporarily, old friend.

Blake Snell a trade target or not

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:51 PM
I would personally be happy to offer up Kirilloff and a few other prospects for him!!! What do you guys think he would cost and would you...

Arbitration Updates

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:56 PM
With some news coming in on the Twins' arbitration-eligible players, I think it'd make sense to start a discussion on the incoming moves....

Wisler, Rosario get non-tendered

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:44 AM
Am I the only one that doesn’t get the Wisler drop at all!?! Had strong strikeout numbers, could pitch multiple innings, and could pitch...

Is Cruz a MUST signing? And what if he doesn't fit?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:17 PM
Let me state I love Cruz and want him back if possible. I not only believe he brings class, experience, knowledge and leadership to the t...


Minnesota Twins Extend Affordable Ace Phil Hughes

Posted by GoGonzoJournal , 22 December 2014 · 3,215 views

phil hughes terry ryan ervin santana david price jon lester

Poll: Do you like the Phil Hughes extension? (3 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you like the Phil Hughes extension?

  1. Yes (3 votes [100%])

    Percentage of vote: 100%

  2. No (0 votes [0%])

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Minnesota Twins Extend Affordable Ace Phil Hughes Terry Ryan and the Minnesota Twins extended Phil Hughes through 2019, effectively making his contract a five-year, $58 million deal. He will earn $9.2 million in 2015 and 2016 before earning $13.2MM annually from 2017 to 2019. Considering his 2014 numbers, the $11.6 million per year average salary is more than reasonable.

This blog was originally published at Go Gonzo Journal.

If you consider the Twins’ recent signing of Ervin Santana, the extension looks even better. Ryan cut a check to Santana for four years and $55 million – a reasonable price to pay for a proven middle-of-the-rotation starter. But that’s roughly $2 million more per year for a guy whose numbers weren't in Hughes’ ballpark. Santana’s FIP (3.39), xFIP (3.47), and SIERA (3.63) indicate he was better than his ERA (3.95), but not nearly as good as Hughes.

Hughes had the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in baseball history last season at 11.63, allowing less than a walk per game. He gave up as many homers (16) as walks in 2014. His 3.52 ERA was inflated due to terrible outfield defense and below-average infield defense. In fact, Hughes’ sabermetric numbers make him look like a god. FIP (2.65), xFIP (3.18) and SIERA (3.17) all show that Hughes was a lot better than his ERA. He finished seventh in the 2014 Cy Young voting, however, most wouldn't consider him an ace, despite finishing tied for fourth among all pitchers with 6.1 Wins Above Replacement last season. The two guys he tied, David Price and Jon Lester, will both make more than Hughes next season. Price made $14 million in arbitration last year, and Lester signed a monstrous six-year deal worth nearly $26 million per year on average.

The extension includes a limited no-trade clause allowing Hughes to block trades to three teams each year, so if Hughes can repeat his ace-like 2014 season, Terry Ryan will have an excellent trade chip with a team-friendly contract. If Hughes gets hurt or takes a step back, the deal doesn't look as good, but given his strategy of limiting free passes and forcing harmless fly balls in big Target Field, I don't think it’s likely he regresses. He’s a new man in Minnesota.

I mostly like the deal except I would have waited until after the 2015 season to do it. Hughes was set to make just $8 million next year, but the difference between $8 million and $9.2 million or even $11.6 million is negligible. Also, Hughes could have performed even better in 2015 and priced himself out of Minnesota, so Terry Ryan hit it out of the park with this deal. Hughes and Santana look to be the veterans that will lead this young Twins squad into the future, and if they're still around when Byron Buxton roams center field, their numbers will look even better. Let’s just hope Ryan doesn't fail to trade Hughes or Santana when they're most valuable.

Let’s just hope Ryan doesn't fail to trade Hughes or Santana when they're most valuable. And therein lies the problem! TR has very little if any history of selling high. It seems his theory is to try and win the most amount of games possible. On its face value, that looks like a great idea. But in reality if you are not in the picture for a playoff spot, its little more than a number. It will be interesting to see what happens this year with the pitching. He has kind of painted himself in a corner. If the three high buck pitchers don't perform, he can't trade them. And unless something has drastically changed he won't eat salary. Many might not agree with me, but I see TR structuring a roster as if he has an almost contender, instead of what he really has! A team to be completely rebuilt in 2015!

But "trading high" has the corollary risk that after awhile you accumulate a collection of players you can't trade because they aren't performing.


I don't think a GM can go in with a strategy of trying to outfox his peers on the other teams, unless he is *very* confident in his talent and assessment.Because with one or two exceptions, the other guys know who is playing over their heads too.