Did Hughes have other offers?
According to a major-league source, the Mariners made Hughes a two-year offer with a club option for a third year, but Seattle refused to guarantee the third year. The Angels, who play roughly 10 minutes from Hughes’ family home, also came after him with what the source described as “a nice one-year deal.”
Why opt for a three-year deal instead of a one-year value-builder?
“I’ve played my whole career on a year-to-year basis, so to finally have a little bit of security was really appealing,” Hughes said. “Obviously I would have done (a one-year deal) if that was all that was out there, but there was interest from teams about bringing me in long-term. That was something I really wanted, so I decided to go in that direction.”
What went wrong in New York?
“I don’t know if it was the pressure of the contract or just the pressure of New York,” Hughes said, still seemingly searching for answers. “I’ve dealt with that before, but sometimes if you start off poor, it can have a tendency to snowball on you – especially in that market. Struggling mechanically, it just seemed like I couldn’t get on that track and get myself going again. It was a perfect storm of bad things going on that I couldn’t get myself out of."
How does he feel about moving to Target Field, a pitcher's park?
“I’m not really sure what kind of impact it will have,” Hughes said of his move. “I know I’ve pitched well in the Central division in the past. I’ve had a few good starts at Target Field; it’s obviously a bigger stadium than Yankee Stadium, which can’t hurt.
“But I’m not just counting on the stadium helping me out. I’m 27; I feel I can still improve and get better. That’s more of my focus than just pitching in a bigger ballpark and getting lucky.”