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Article: Free Agent Pitcher Profile: Phil Hughes

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:29 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...ile-Phil-Hughes

#2 clutterheart

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:51 PM

Wow
Those home/away splits are amazing....It looks like you missed his last start. MLB.com says his "home" ERA is 6.32 with 17 HR. His last home start was a bad one!
Interesting that Kuroda & Nova both pitched much better at home but Hughes Fly Balls must have really carried in Yankee stadium.

Hughes would be an OK pitcher, better than most other options the team has. But..if he is the only FA signing, that would be annoying

#3 Nick Nelson

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 12:07 AM

He had one relief appearance, in which he gave up 4 ER and recorded one out. I didn't include that because I was looking at him as a starter, but, yeah, bad.

#4 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 05:47 AM

If free agency is a crap shoot, this is where I'd roll the dice.

A sidebar comment: The "Don't Feed the Greed" moniker is really about management and labor reaching a mutual understanding. It's where both sides agree not to screw a good thing up, and penalize the fans--and the game--just because one side gets greedy.

At some point the Twins management has to show up, and let Mauer & Company (aka: labor) know that they want to win, too. That also means showing the folks that buy $10 beers that saving payroll isn't the Pohlad's only dream. Hughes appears to be step 1. Hughes is the right kind of gamble, IMHO. Not the only gamble, but a step in the right direction.

My only red flag is the innings issue. It would be nice to sign a 200+ innings eater. That may be step 2.

#5 TheMind07

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:52 AM

I think Hughes is definitely the one to go after for the Twins. He won't be too expensive is still young and fits in with the next "wave." Even if you have to overpay for Hughes I for one think he's the one worth doing so for. I think a change of scenery would do him good, I think a good comparison might be AJ Burnett going from NY to Pittsburgh.

#6 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:29 AM

I'm not a Hughes fan at all. I'm pretty confident he'll be a disappointment to whoever ends up signing him.

I'm always skeptical of guys who's primary attraction seems to be "he just needs to face less talented competition," and/or "pitch in easier conditions."

I'd rather take chances on guys who should be able to perform against the best, but for some reason haven't, instead of guys who might look better because circumstances got more forgiving.

#7 Winston Smith

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:37 AM

His career numbers are a lot better than Correia and he pitched in the AL East. That's the bright side, however, he has been a mediocre pitcher over his career at best.

I think I'd try a make good contract with both him and Josh Johnson 7-8 mill base with a bunch of incentives they could reach if they pitch well. Neither has shown a longer term contract would be wise and Ryan is rather conservative when spending money. I just can't see Ryan doing a 10+m multiy year deal, it just isn't in his nature.

#8 pierre75275

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:43 AM

I would much rather the twins target somebody like Hughes as opposed to Johnson and Haren.

#9 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:54 AM

More than anyone else, I think this is the guy the Twins should be targeting.

1. He's an extreme flyball pitcher, a la Scott Baker. A guy like that can do well in Target Field.

2. Flyball pitcher + Target Field + Byron Buxton + Aaron Hicks = Yay!

3. Any time a guy gets to leave the AL East, it's probably going to help him a bit.

4. Down season, young age, reasonable price.

Hughes isn't an ace. He's probably not even a good #2 pitcher. But on a roster full of #4/5 starters, I'll take a young guy who could be a very good #3 all day. Add in another mediocre season by Correia, maturation by Gibson, and Phil Hughes and you're looking at the foundation of a decent, though entirely unspectacular, rotation.

#10 jay

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:18 AM

[quote name='USAFChief']I'm pretty confident he'll be a disappointment to whoever ends up signing him.[/QUOTE]

You could probably say that about the vast majority of free agent pitchers, but here we are.

[quote name='USAFChief']I'm always skeptical of guys who's primary attraction seems to be "he just needs to face less talented competition," and/or "pitch in easier conditions."

I'd rather take chances on guys who should be able to perform against the best, but for some reason haven't, instead of guys who might look better because circumstances got more forgiving.[/QUOTE]

You can spin it that way, but really it's about fitting skills and talents to the best environment. The "moving out of the AL East" bit would be said about most anyone moving out of that league and certainly isn't specific to Phil Hughes. His flyball tendency on the other hand is something that isn't a great fit for the physical layout of Yankee Stadium (not an indiction of his skill) and fits your narrative perfectly of someone "who should be able to perform against the best, but for some reason haven't".

If not Hughes, who?

#11 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:27 AM

I agree with Brock 100%. Point 5 being very important, if the price is right. Normally, all on the board would be clamoring about this being a buy-low candidate if it was a trade, but unfortunately he will likely get $8-10 per with his potential being his best selling point. Considering the current staff, Hughes' age and the prospects rising through the minors, Hughes could be very important for this team in 2015-2016 and maybe beyond. Sign him while he's still young and has upside. He's worth the risk.

#12 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:29 AM

As opposed to Lincecom and Haren--I would prefer a flyer on Hughes (max. 3 years 40 million). Good point on getting away from the House that Ruth (George??) built and the AL East. I am not sure how much better than Correia he would be but worth a flyer more so than Haren or Lincecom.

#13 twinkiesfan11

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:39 AM

I'd be thrilled to see the Twins take a chance on Hughes over yet another ground ball specialist. As a fan I just can't stomach another year of watching that garbage. He's demonstrated the ability to pile up some K's which would be pretty valuable in this rotation. If 3 years at $10 million a year would get it done they'd be adding a reasonably priced #4 starter to bridge the gap to and maybe even contribute to the next competitive wave.

#14 twinsfan34

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:44 AM

Some great comments and analysis.

I do like Phil Hughes too. Better than Lincecum. I'd be willing to give Tanaka a 6yr $60M deal and his Japanese team the $60M posting bid. Maybe (likely) a bit rich for the Twins. He's likely to fall somewhere between Matsuaka (Red Sox) and Darvish (Rangers), with the needle falling closer to the Darvish side.

The fly ball thing. It's sorta frustrating, but maybe a strength?

"Target Field: where fly balls go to die" - is that what it will be known as?

Much like the Dome or "Homer-dome" or the fast turf of the Piranhas, maybe the Twins need to find players who play to the strengths of Target field. Assuming it's given up it's colors as to what type of players thrive there. Btw, I'd love to hear assessments on this. Righties? Lefties? Pull/opposite field hitters? speed of the grass? Fly ball pitchers? How ground balls do at Target field versus the rest of the stadiums?

If Target Field is indeed the place where fly balls die. It would seem that high strikeout and fly ball pitchers would be the way to go? It seems the Twins are going after power arms since 2012 (Terry Ryan).

If I'm not mistaken, I think the Twins were interested or almost acquired Phil Hughes in the Santana trade a few years back. Must have liked him? I can't recall. I know the Red Sox were offering Jon Lester, but we wanted Clay Buchholz and/or Ellsbury.

I'm for a 3yr $21M incentive laiden contract. ERA under 3.80 gets him $3M a year. IP over 200 gets him another $3M per year. Possible $13M Phil Hughes, whattaya say?

#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:48 AM

I'm for a 3yr $21M incentive laiden contract. ERA under 3.80 gets him $3M a year. IP over 200 gets him another $3M per year. Possible $13M Phil Hughes, whattaya say?


I'm almost positive that won't get Hughes to even return your phone call.

We argued a bit over Hughes in the creation of the handbook. I think he's going to get more than many expect... Three years, $35m is a good starting point. I don't see him getting less than $10m a season.

#16 amjgt

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:08 AM

Given the parallels with 2006 (new TV contract = GMs spending tons of money) i would be shocked to see Hughes get anything less than 4/50.

If I was going to go on record with a guess.... 4/54 with a team option in year 5. I realize that's an insane price tag for a pitcher with Hughes numbers, but I'm sticking to that guess. (Gil Meche is a decent comp and he got 5/55 in 2006)

That number probably comes down a little bit if the Yanks do a Qualifying Offer. If you are the Yankees and you think Hughes' free agent market value is anywhere north of $40M, why wouldn't you make the Q.O.? He has to turn it down, right?

Thankfully, they will need to make the Q.O. before it becomes obvious that the F.A. market is going to be flush with money.

Edited by amjgt, 23 October 2013 - 09:12 AM.
added the Meche part


#17 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:32 AM

I don't see Hughes getting more than Edwin Jackson money (4/$52m). Jackson was just a year older and had more consistent numbers.

Also, the Meche contract shouldn't be used as a baseline for anything. Most of us doubled over in laughter when we heard those contract numbers. Meche was young and decent (and had one very good year for the Royals) but the amount he received was not in line with anyone else on the market.

#18 markos

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:40 AM

2. Flyball pitcher + Target Field + Byron Buxton + Aaron Hicks = Yay!

3. Any time a guy gets to leave the AL East, it's probably going to help him a bit.


2. Flyball pitcher + Target Field + Josh Willingham + Alex Presley + Oswaldo Arcia = Cover your eyes! Hide the children!!!

3. Due to scheduling quirks, Hughes only had 1 starts against Boston, the best offensive team in the AL East. In contrast, he had 7 starts against Toronto (8th) and Tampa Bay (9th), both who were around league average offenses. Further, 3 of his worst starts came against San Diego (12th), Seattle (12th) and Kansas City (11th) - not exactly offensive powerhouses. Overall, his average opponent Runs per game was 4.40, which is only slightly more than the league average of 4.33.

#19 amjgt

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:43 AM

I don't see Hughes getting more than Edwin Jackson money (4/$52m). Jackson was just a year older and had more consistent numbers.

Also, the Meche contract shouldn't be used as a baseline for anything. Most of us doubled over in laughter when we heard those contract numbers. Meche was young and decent (and had one very good year for the Royals) but the amount he received was not in line with anyone else on the market.


Jackson didn't have draft pick compensation tied to him, right?
Regardless... Agree to disagree.

I think we are going to be doubled over with laughter a lot this offseason (See: Lincecum, Tim)

Edited by amjgt, 23 October 2013 - 09:46 AM.


#20 twinkiesfan11

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:46 AM

If I'm not mistaken, I think the Twins were interested or almost acquired Phil Hughes in the Santana trade a few years back. Must have liked him? I can't recall. I know the Red Sox were offering Jon Lester, but we wanted Clay Buchholz and/or Ellsbury.


I'm 99% positive I remember reading during the Santana tradefest that the Twins were very high on Hughes and even intended to draft him in the Waldrop slot in the 04' draft but were beat to it by the Yankees. Not sure that's relevant anymore but an interesting tidbit.

#21 Winston Smith

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 10:24 AM

I'm afraid that even borderline mediocre pitching is going to be really expensive this year, at least in relation to how much Ryan is willing to spend.
Hughes and Jackson compare fairly well stat wise, would Terry do a 4/52m? I can't see it.
This comment brought to you from the Rosedale Mall studio by Hamm's Beer, brewed in the land of sky blue waters.

#22 twinsfan34

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 10:46 AM

I'm almost positive that won't get Hughes to even return your phone call.

We argued a bit over Hughes in the creation of the handbook. I think he's going to get more than many expect... Three years, $35m is a good starting point. I don't see him getting less than $10m a season.



Welp. You're probably right. If Lincecum, Pence, and the contracts signed so far are any indicator of the Free Agency season...it's best not to get caught up in a few bad contracts for mediocre pitching.

Maybe Ryan Dempster is a better indicator than the other names mentioned...then factor in a few years younger.

I can't see the Yankees offering him a QO and him not taking it. It would likely handcuff a team thinking of signing him. Add to the fact the A's and the Cardinals and Nationals have been getting #1, #2, and #3 level production from top draft picks the past few years - giving up a 1st or 2nd to sign Hughes (not a #1, #2, or #3 production) might not be as palatable as in years' past.

#23 Marta Shearing

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:01 AM

I'm not a Hughes fan at all. I'm pretty confident he'll be a disappointment to whoever ends up signing him.

I'm always skeptical of guys who's primary attraction seems to be "he just needs to face less talented competition," and/or "pitch in easier conditions."

I'd rather take chances on guys who should be able to perform against the best, but for some reason haven't, instead of guys who might look better because circumstances got more forgiving.


Could not agree more. The entire 2000's they economically constructed teams just strong enough to win the crummy Central, but too flawed for playoff success. Signing Phil Hughes is just going in the same direction. Can we aspire for more?

#24 TheLeviathan

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:42 AM

I don't think the right way to spin this is that we're getting a guy who needs things to be easier to be successful, the point is that if we sign a guy and put him in a better position to pitch better - we'll receive a better bang for our buck.

I think Hughes and Johnson represent the best chances for that scenario.

#25 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:46 AM

I don't think the right way to spin this is that we're getting a guy who needs things to be easier to be successful, the point is that if we sign a guy and put him in a better position to pitch better - we'll receive a better bang for our buck.


This. You go after guys that have underperformed in other locations for any number of reasons: home stadium, division, playing time, style of play, etc. You don't hold it against a guy because his last spot was a bad fit; you exploit the situation when the market is down on a player because his last spot was a bad fit.

#26 mike wants wins

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:51 AM

It will take 4/50 or so, imo. I'd do that. What else are they spending the money on? My sig is a dream, imo.

edit: 4/60 is my new prediction, 2 minutes later

Edited by mike wants wins, 23 October 2013 - 11:58 AM.


#27 Wookiee of the Year

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 12:00 PM

I'm 99% positive I remember reading during the Santana tradefest that the Twins were very high on Hughes and even intended to draft him in the Waldrop slot in the 04' draft but were beat to it by the Yankees. Not sure that's relevant anymore but an interesting tidbit.

You never know--I remember hearing last offseason that the Twins didn't like Edwin Jackson because when they scouted him as a high schooler, they thought his motion made him injury prone. So it could still be relevant to them.

#28 nicksaviking

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 12:05 PM

I'm not high on Hughes, but I'd be fine if they signed him. It would indicate that A) they are finally taking free agency seriously and B) the intentional but unfortunate idea that this team has to target only groundball pitchers is over.

Question though, if Hughes is the ace (gag), does he still get to pitch the Wild Card game hosted at Yankee Stadium? He may get away from a heavy dose of AL East moving to the AL Cental in the regular season, he still has to beat them in the playoffs which should be the goal.

#29 amjgt

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 12:23 PM

Circling back on 2006...

Because of the glut of money being tossed around in 2006, the following 2 years had relatively few signings more than $10,000,000 (total contract).

I'm certainly not in the "hold your nose until 2015/16" camp, but it could be that our money is more wisely spent those years, when a) there might be some relative bargains, and B) we are closer to competing.

I'd like to think that agents saw all of this coming and targeted their clients contracts to end this season, but I often give people too much credit, and this year certainly doesn't seem very strong for the quality of free agents out there.

What is all of that pointing to?...... TANAKA!!!!!

Break the bank, Terry.

#30 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 12:23 PM

Question though, if Hughes is the ace (gag), does he still get to pitch the Wild Card game hosted at Yankee Stadium? He may get away from a heavy dose of AL East moving to the AL Cental in the regular season, he still has to beat them in the playoffs which should be the goal.


It should only be the goal if you believe Hughes is the best pitcher you're going to field in the next 2-3 years.

Let's hope that's not the case.