That would be surprising -- leaving $16.4 mil on the table? Would that be an MLB record?
I am just throwing out an idea in response to the thread starter. And anyway, records are made to be broken.
Pick a slightly higher buyout number, then. Leave the second year money on the table, for instance.
But there are two additional thoughts behind the wacky idea. First, while I spelled out the obvious benefit to the team, the benefit to the player is to no longer have to jump all the hurdles spelled out by a MLB contract, staying in shape and doing whatever is necessary to remain able to play at a high level, if the outcome has become obviously futile. My staying in the best possible shape is well worth earning $13M to me of course, but maybe another person than I would see it differently at this stage of the career.
Second, at the time of his contract extension, much was made of the player's having turned down the chance to pitch an extra inning or so, to invoke an incentive clause. The implication was that the front office viewed this as demonstrating exactly what a high-character guy he was - I think they just came right out and said it. I don't discount the FO's judgement on that, so another financial concession from Hughes would be in keeping with the picture drawn. I would not have made a similar guess on someone like, say, Nolasco, and that's not casting any aspersions at anyone by saying so.
Anyway, it's just a fun guess. If I hit the jackpot, someone pay up; if I'm wrong, I'll go back and erase any mention of my having said so. I'm a high-character guy, y'know.