Yanks ready to trade Hughes for Santana

Yanks leaning towards including Hughes in Santana package
Hughes, continued

John Harper and Bill Madden are reporting that the Yanks are going to offer Phil Hughes in a package with Melky Cabrera and one other player to the Twins for Johan Santana.

After two days of internal discussions among front-office executives, the Yankees swallowed hard Friday and decided to offer Phil Hughes to the Twins as part of the trade package they hope will land them Johan Santana.

“We’re going for it,” was the way one club source put it…According to the club source, there was spirited internal debate in the organization via conference calls about whether to make Hughes available.

Among the prominent people on the calls were GM Brian Cashman in New York, and owner Hank Steinbrenner and superscout Gene Michael in Tampa. Though the club source wouldn’t say who needed to be convinced, it is no secret that Cashman has wanted to build the team around young, homegrown players, and saw the three pitchers as the centerpiece.

So if Cashman wanted to keep Hughes and Gene Michael as we knew wanted to trade him, I guess Hank could have been the deciding voice. My first reaction: Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss.

At first glance, I’m not a huge fan of this deal, but the Yanks aren’t giving up anything else. Gene Michael was instrumental in building up the Yankee dynasty in the late 1990s. So maybe we should trust him. Or maybe we should all just jump off the nearest bridge. I’ll leave that one up to you.

We’ll find out over the next few hours, I’m sure, how this story progresses.

Update by Joe: Maybe Harper and Madden are hearing things, but mum’s the word from Hank:

“Anything said at this point, and I expect the other people in the organization to follow suit, you never know how it affects whatever, especially with other teams we’re dealing with,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s just no comment for now. At this point, until we get something done or don’t get something done on whatever we’re looking to do, it’s kind of as far as I’m concerned a lockdown now.”

I’m a psychiatrist. Believe me, I can be vague.

Yanks leaning towards including Hughes in Santana package
Hughes, continued
  • PsiFighter37

    Idiots…at this point, it seems like hoping against hope that Phil Franchise won’t be a Twinkie in a few days.

  • Jersey

    I’ve been sort’ve on the fence, I can see both angles to this….but hearing Phil could be leaving like a punch in the gut.

  • George

    I would like to believe that this is just false news. Trading Hughes will be hurt this team in the short and long term…

  • luke

    ugh i hope this is just speculation and that this doesn’t happen
    i really don’t want hughes to leave =/

  • Donnie Baseball deserves to be in the Hall

    As much as I like Hughes, this is a trade you have to make on paper. We do not play the games on paper but you have to pull the trigger on this one.

    A-rod has not brought a championship here, but that was another trade a lot of us Yankee fans did not want to see as we liked Soriano, but on paper you had to make that trade. It was the right baseball move.

    If this deal can be done just for Melk and Hughes, we do save another prospect to possibly deal for another OF, or to hold on to for the future.

    The beauty of this possible deal is that if the Yankees do not like the terms of the contract extention then they could theoretically back out of the deal. They could put pressure on Santana to take a lessor deal than all of the media outlets (especially NESPN) are reporting.

    Just my two cents.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    fucking Tampa Mafia.

  • Ivan

    Doesn’t seem like speculation. I love Hughes but maybe this is it.

  • George

    Since they drafted Hughes and Cashman has preached building a bridge between the young to old, I would hate too see this trade go through.

    I/we all understand that we have kids pitching for us next year along with two veterans. Would it hurt our brain trust to just think outside the box and consider other options?
    Making some possible trades… Keeping a poker face posture and calling their bluff…

  • zack

    Great minds Ben, great minds…

    I still think everything is in the posturing phase still, but announcing they will include Hughes sure does make it hard to back off that claim. That third prospect best be Tyler Clippard or the ilk and not anyone with real potential.

    If you look at a trade of Hughes and Melky for Santana, its really hard not to see it as very fair. The yanks give up ONE of their three studs and a CF who nobody was really sold on, and get back a stud pitcher, who is a lefty in a lefty friendly park. It hurts to give up Hughes, but there is no doubt that this trade makes the Yankees better for at least the next 3-5 years.

    And its not like the Yankees have a shortage of young righties in the system. What they do have a shortage of is lefties. In another 3 years, Hughes might be dominant, but so might Horne, Bettences, Brackman, Marquez, Kennedy, Joba, McAllister, Pope etc…

    or Hughes and the rest might bust…who knows

    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      i highly doubt any of them will be as highly rated as Hughes. #1 pitcher by BA, BP, others i cant remember now. i honestly believe he’ll have a longer, steadier career than Joba. Joba will have those flashes of dominance, but Hughes will be the rock, the consistent guy. i still cant believe this, but i’ll hold off weeping until it actually happens. it could just be baiting the Sawx (hope against hope).

      • zack

        You better believe Brackman and Bettences have a damn good chance of being the #1, which of course means jack crap considering a look at the last 10-15 #1s…

      • yankz

        “Hughes will be the rock, the consistent guy.”

        How in god’s name could you possibly know that for sure?

      • Rob

        I agee about Phil in the end being better that Joba. He just projects to be better. I sooner give up Joba, an unknown commodity in terms of starting pitching, than Phil.

    • kingshaffy

      The rest of those guys aren’t in Hughes’ league.

      • Dan

        I’d say Brackman definitely has the potential to be.

  • JP

    this is a trade they will live to forget

  • MikeD

    Trust the Stick.

    I was totally against this but hearing Gene Michael is in favor makes me way more comfortable. He’s a much better talent evaluator than i will ever be.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    from the article:
    “He was just starting to get that late life back at the end of the season,” one AL scout said Friday. “I think the leg injuries had a lingering effect. He was at 91, 92 (mph) after he came back, instead of 94-95.

    “It cost him some explosiveness, and I’ve gotta believe it will come back next season. The impressive thing was that he was able to win anyway.”

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    one more thing. why did they just promote Eiland to PC if not to help the youngins? acquiring Santana, they might as well have kept Guidry.

  • Ivan

    The better question is

    If that is the case of taking all this money for the offseason and possibly getting santana, why even fire Joe Torre.

    You bring in Giradi to help some young players right?

  • CB

    I thought this quote from the new story was the most telling:

    “A Twins’ insider agrees that Smith, the Minnesota GM, believes Hughes is the best pitcher he can acquire for Santana, better than either Lester or Buchholz from the Red Sox.”

    Better than Buchholz. The twins don’t make many mistakes evaluation talent. They can’t afford to. Smith was Ryan’s lieutenant for years. Smith didn’t fall into the trap of knocking phil for a pulled hammy.

    If phil doesn’t pull that hamstring he would have had a strong season. I’d guess they would have placed him in the same light as Joba and not traded him under any circumstance.

    At the start of the season how many people said he was “the most important person in the entire organization.”

    Maybe not quite in the way we were thinking.

  • gcvanbrunt

    You people are crazy. Santana is the pitcher we need. Hughes is at the height of his value right now. We are getting the best pitcher in baseball for somebody that might one day be as good. I am sick of losing 5 game series. Santana, joba, Andy in a short series is unstoppable. We still have plenty of young pitching for the future. Santana will be the most dominant pitcher that we have had in the past 20 years.

    • Rob

      I agree on the high value bit. If he comes out next year and gets hurt again what do they have? A talented but injury-riddled pitcher. Who wants that?

    • kingshaffy

      Height of his value? Lol, coming off an injury. Santana isn’t what we need, what we need is to be paitent with the talent we’ve assembled and let it develop. But god forbid we actually have a plan and stick with it.

      The Red Sox and twins have played us for chumps.

  • Rob

    Who’s to say Hughes stays healthy? He got hurt very easily last year – twice. It wasn’t his arm, but there’s been no evidence to suggest he’ll throw 200 innings a year for each of the next six years.

    By contrast, Santana has never been hurt.

    You do have to make this trade.

    Hughes + Melky = swallow hard, and do it.

    • CB

      Santana has had bone chips surgically removed from his elbow. that would be a much more serious injury than any hughes has had.

      • Rob

        When? You can’t make a statement like that and leave out the most critical part.

        • CB

          Santana having elbow surgery in the past is a widely known part of his career. didn’t think documentation was needed.

          So after a quick google search that returned 8000 hits on santana and elbow surgery here you go:


          • Rob

            The point is that was after the 2003 season. In the time since, he’s thrown over 800 innings in four season and won 2 CY’s. There’s no injury concern, as you were implying.

  • Jeff

    Ha ha… Travis G. Good comment! … Tampa Mafia – never heard that one.

    Sorry but I’m a Santana believer. I know you guys see more in Hughes and his potential. Can’t say that I think you didn’t make a lot of good points… but look we’re getting a guy that is in his prime and has been amazing for the past couple of years – True Ace no doubt about it. In my eyes Hughes could be an ace but there is some doubt about it at least for me.
    But in any case we are by no means getting a downgrade in pitching by aquiring Santana.
    Could the money be spent better – sure as hell – but hey we’re lucky we’re Yankees fans… backed by the Tampa Mafia!

    One more thing kudos to the guys that run this blog. Just started reading a couple days ago & happy to see there are some good minded baseball people here.

  • NYFan50

    I’ll still believe it when it happens.

  • Rob

    “But in any case we are by no means getting a downgrade in pitching by aquiring Santana.”

    I think this is exactly the point. Hughes isn’t eligible to pitch 200 innings until 2010 at the earliest. So the Yankees get a clear upgrade for at least two seasons. And two off-seasons ago who had heard of Hughes? Or Joba? Or Kennedy?

    The Yankees are drafting very well and protecting their talent. I feel very good about the future.

  • George

    Think of it this way, the six years the Yankees have control of Hughes, he would cost them about 20 to 22 million. One year of Santana will cost the Yankees 25 million…

    As Travis G” hi-lighted what one scout said ““He was just starting to get that late life back at the end of the season,” one AL scout said Friday. “I think the leg injuries had a lingering effect. He was at 91, 92 (mph) after he came back, instead of 94-95.”

    The you have health questions being asked by Star Tribune regarding Santans during the last few weeks of the season.

  • RZG

    Unless this is a take it or leave it offer then the merry-go-round is just going to stop at Boston and it’ll be up to them if they want to up the ante.

    What gets done first, Santana gets traded or Arod finally signs a contract? The Twins don’t need to be in a rush unless they feel Boston or NY will drop out to pursue Haren or someone else.

    Who would believe the Yankees threatening to drop out after they’ve already gone back on their “won’t trade one of the big 3” or “We won’t negotiate with Arod” proclamations?

  • Rob

    The money is completely irrelevant.

    As for Santana’s health, no doubt a physical will be part of the finalization of the deal, esp. with the extension involved.

    • George

      The money issues becomes relevant if Santana gets hurt during the season. Then you being to bitch out loud, what a mistake that trade was. On top of that, you now need to go out and fill a void in CF. What over paid 30 plus year can we sign to fill that void? Oh I’m sorry ddi we just give up either A-Jax or Tabata up as well? Why?

      • Dan

        The Yankees have Giambi/Mussina/others coming off the books next year. And having to absorb the contracts of Giambi and Pavano while they were injured hasn’t exactly hindered the Yankees from spending. Even if Santana gets injured, they can absorb it.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    people still havent learned from the past 7 years? how many times did the Yanks sign/trade for the ‘proven star’? how many times did it help?

    • yankz

      That trade they made with Texas a few years ago worked out pretty well. Who did they get again? Alex something, right?

      They traded then for the best hitter in baseball. They’re trading now for the best pitcher in baseball. This is NOT Jeff Weaver, or Kevin Brown, or Javier Vazquez.

      With that said, I’m still probably going to be unhappy about this in the morning.

      • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

        you forgot RJ and Pavano.

        • yankz

          RJ was old. Pavano was the best FA available after Clemens, Wells, and Pettitte bolted.

          Santana is the best pitcher alive and is young.

          Wait, I just realized that you made an argument for me.

  • The Scout

    I have opposed a deal for Santana and a long-term contract all along, so it goes without saying I oppose this deal. This trade is a mistake. I would have preferred to see the Yankees either keep Hughes or retain him as a chip in a possible Bedard deal, since I believe Bedard has a brighter long-term future than Santana.

    To me, what is most troubling is the return of decision by committee and of ownership dictating a “quick fix” response. Even if this one works out in the short run (I believe Santana has at most 2-3 front end years remaining his left arm), it opens the door to a return to the dysfunctional organizational that resulted in the shipping out of young talent and other pathologies we saw after 2001. Respect Cashman or hate him (I’ve gone both ways), at least for a couple of years you knew who was accountable. And as far as Gene Michael is concerned, yes, he’s a good judge of talent, but he’s made his share of mistakes — he was, after all, the one who predicted big things from Kevin Maas.

  • save hughes

    hank has bent over and taken it from epstein and smith… i cannot believe he is this stupid… he really dropped the soap on this one

  • Ivan

    The Yankees just like the big name and the most popular guy.

    I will say this, the yankees better a WS soon if they get Santana. This is ridiculous. When does it stop. When does it stop huh.

    I am putting Johan on the spot, and you who I am putting on the spot? Joba is on the spot too, because after all he was mr. untouchable and Johan is the best pitcher in baseball.

    This is just plain being greedy. This like the yankees in the 80’s.

    Stop please, fuck man, build a team. Oh by the way, fix the bullpen please.

    Im Mad right now.

    • kingshaffy

      agree 100%

  • Rob

    Santana is different. 29 yo and lefthanded and already pitching in the AL.

    The only Yankee acquisition even close is the Weaver one. And he didn’t have two Cy’s. Worse, who would have guessed then that Lily would become the best pitcher from that deal?

  • save hughes

    I thought that once the boss was out that things would be different… I really did. I heard all these things that the stienbrenner sons were pro-cashman… its never gonna end. I am angry

  • George

    I say this to the pro Santana lovers. Your right he is a great pitcher. A winner. But can you really look at him and say that he is worth us trading Hughes, Melky, plus prospects? The F*ck Sox new when to say yes and no on some trades. They didn’t blink the Yankees did. Fine the trade didn’t happen, but couldn’t The Steins and company stick to their word “We aren’t trading our youngsters”

    • yankz

      They never said they wouldn’t trade one of the trio for Santana.

      Meanwhile, the Yankees continue to be stacked in the minors. The youth movement continues.

  • Rob

    “it opens the door to a return to the dysfunctional organizational that resulted in the shipping out of young talent”

    “This like the yankees in the 80’s.”

    BS. They resisted the trade for Gagne. They’re trading one real prospect in this deal.


    • yankz

      Yeah. People are overreacting. Even if this is a bad deal, it in no way signals the impending collapse of the farm system. Cash could have traded Hughes a million times. He didn’t. He waited for the best pitcher in the world.

      • The Scout

        Please read with care. I did NOT say the Yankees were shipping out all the young talent. I referred to an organizational structure in which the decision making accountability fragmented and no one on the outside could tell who was responsible. When the Yankees turned down Gagne, Cashman clearly remained in the driver’s seat; Hal and Hank hadn’t yet started to enjoy the limelight. The reported division of opinion makes clear that Cashman has lost the ultimate authority he had supposedly been given when he agreed to his last contract.

    • RZG

      “BS. They resisted the trade for Gagne.”

      That’s great. It’s like congratulating an alcoholic for passing on an offer of 1 drink and then taking 4 drinks right away.

  • jsbrendog

    ok, heres my two cents again….maybe 4 or 5 cents…..could be a quarter

    Here’s what I would think Gene Michael is thinking: When building a rotation its like building a bullpen, when all your guys throw the same piutch, it gets old and they get hit, ie farns, proctor, vixcaino, all fast straight and duh duh huh?

    Now, your # 1 should be lights out, and you would like your number to to be just as lights out and possibly a # 1 if you didnt have your #1. As for your 3,4,5, maybe stick thinks you want to vary your approach. Hughes is a fastball curve guy right? Ok, so is JOba. Santana blows people away too. Wouldn’t a Santana and Joba blowing people away, Wang making them beat it into the ground, and Ian Kennedy with a mussina like array and pitching style be better than another fastball/curve try to blow them away guy? That gives the yankees three different types of pitchers right there and if they can get pettite back then BANG, theres your wily veteran who hasnt got the same stuff but knows how to get outs by throwing up the damned kitchen sink if he has to.

    4 different varying styles i feel would work much better than 4 or 5 blow em away fastball guys. Hughes COULD be one of those guys but might not be. Thats what he is Projected to do. Santana does this.

    Easy trade in my mind. Plus melk = kinda overrated

    • yankz

      That’s definitely not what he’s thinking. He is NOT thinking “Hmm, we should trade Hughes because he has similar stuff to Joba!”

      More importantly, he doesn’t have similar stuff to Joba. Joba’s second pitch is a slider. And his fastball is 6 MPH faster.

  • Jeff

    The one thing I hope is that Ajax or Tabata aren’t included in the deal… these guys would tilt this deal way too much in the Twins favor.
    Once Matsui and Abreau are done we’ll need some affordable players.

  • Pedro

    Yankees’ FO = morons.
    One day after the news that the Red Sox were the leading team for Santana, the Yankees go into desperation mode. You gotta hand it to Epstein, he really made a fool out of our FO.

  • jsbrendog

    ALSO one more thing, wqhen the red sox got beckett they gave up hanleyt ramirez, and annibel sanchez and probably someone else. Those two guys have become all star caliber players who were “untouchable for the red sox”

    now the sox win a series because of beckett and the players they traded to florida are cheap under tea control and all stars or all star caliber. trade works out for both.

    WHy can’t this one be the same?

  • zack

    Good God people, step off the ledge. Do a little bit of rational analysis. Were most of you actually Yankee fans during the 80s? B/c the is not the same thing at all. In fact, I am not sure of a comparable trade in my lifetime. Cone maybe, but we are talking about lower prospects. I guess the real comp is A-Rod-except that Sori was a known commodity.

    This is the type of trade that helps teams win–trading from a strength to to get better. The Red Sox already did this trade and gave up MORE for Beckett. Saying that Cashman got hosed by Theo (which makes no sense at all please) and Smith is stupid. This is a fair trade. Minn. was NEVER going to take less than Hughes, deal with it.

    You can be unhappy about trading Hughes, you can be unhappy about trading FOR Santana, but you simply cannot be unhappy about the trade itself–Yeah, it would have been great to trade nothing, but when does that ever happen for a 29 year old double cy young winning lefty?

    Fine, bitch and moan all next season when Santana is dominating, don’t enjoy being more than competitive. DOn’t enjoy the pure awesomeness of a Santana v.s Beckett, Wang vs. Dice-K, and Joba vs. Buccholz matchup over a weekend at Yankee Stadium. I will. I see two teams that now have even rotations and a Yankee team with a better offensive and a heck of a better farm system…

    • yankz

      Also, when is Hughes going to be a better pitcher than Santana? Certainly not next year, or the year after that, or the year after that. And by that time, at least one of the dozen studly RHP will be ready. Santana now + prospect later > Hughes now + prospect later.

      • Rob

        Exactly. Hughes shouldn’t pitch 200 innings until 2010.

      • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

        at the rate Santana is declining, Hughes (imo of course) will be as good or better than him within 5 years.

        no one was saying trade nothing. i wanted the final offer to be something like Kennedy, Melky and Ajax. bc the Twinkies demanded Hughes doesnt mean they had to give in. if they dont take it, fine, we’ll go into 08 with highly touted pitcher on the rise, 7 years younger than Santana (and loads cheaper). also with a CFer who doesn’t throw like a girl (is Damon really gonna be the everyday CFer? please shoot me – he’s always hurt and is in his decline phase) and a potential Granderson/Torii type guy in Ajax. how is that a bad situation?

        • yankz

          FIVE years? That makes the trade sound wonderful.

      • kingshaffy

        Yes, that’s sound logic. Based on nothing but opinion. I am sorry, but considering he pitched extremely with diminished arm strength, I think he’s going to be dominant this season with his arm strength at 100%.

        Besides, he already has the same amount of postseason wins as Santana and is 8 years younger and costs 1/50th…no really, good trade Yanks! Lets throw in Ajax and Tabata just to make sure “we’re going for it.” Fing clowns.

    • Rob

      Seriously, Zack. It IS a very fair deal. Otherwise, very well said.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    Beckett was only 25 at the time. Santana is 29, hence much closer to (or already in) his decline phase.

    • yankz

      According to you, Santana ages 29-33 will be better than Hughes ages 22-26.

      • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

        you misunderstood. at some point in the next 5 years, i believe Hughes will move ahead of Santana. Hughes is on the way up, Santana on the way down. that might not happen until year 5, but perhaps earlier.

  • Jake

    Just say not to this trade. Do you people see the Sox giving Santana 25 mil a year then have to give that to Beckett in 2 years? Also if your Santana and one team is willing to give you 25 a yr for 6 yrs why not wait one more year and have 2 teams bidding on you?

    • yankz

      While I’ve been saying that this deal is nowhere near as bad as most are making it out to be, I’m still unhappy that they blinked. No way do the Twins accept Boston’s crap package.

      If we assume Santana wants to go to the Yankees and he knows the Yankees are interested, they have him. All they have to do is give the Twins something better than one year of Johan and 2 draft picks.

      • Rob

        But who’s to say they accept either package?

        The Yanks are trying to get this done ASAP. I see no problem with that. They’re doing what it takes.

        Even if the Sox up the offer with Ellsbury, that’s still not enough.

        • yankz

          It’s either accept a package or let him walk at the end of the year. Is Kennedy+Melky+prospect not > 2 draft picks + 1 year of unhappy Johan?

          • Rob

            I think it’s close. Kennedy was a 1st round pick. Is Melky = to a first rounder? I don’t think so.

            This offer is clearly fair and better than anything else that’s been reported. The Yankees are trying to get this done in a logical and methodical manner. I say well done.

  • CB

    I’m ambivalent about this move. I don’t think it was clear cut – yes its a slam dunk do it or don’t do it. Trading hughes at has a great deal of risk given his upside. I didn’t want them to do it.

    But Santana is great. Jeter, Posada, ARod, Mariano, etc. are not getting any younger. If it takes Phil 3-4 year to develop (which I don’t think it would have but the possibility can’t be discounted in all fairness) then all of those veterans many be on the waning side of their careers.

    The window for this yankee team may be the next 3-5 years.

    That said this does not indicate that they are just returning to the bad old days by any means. First of all – if this trade does go through – the fact that they could even pull it often says a great deal. They couldn’t get Beckett. They now can get Santana.

    For the Yankees the farm system is critical – but its always going to be important for mixed reasons – internal player development and for chips to use in trades.

    It has to be that way. The farms system gives them flexibility – this isn’t going back to ignoring scouting, the draft and player development.

    This validates the approach they’ve taken of of developing blue chip prospects by scouting an paying over slot for talent and systematically developing talent. It just doesn’t validate it in the way many of us who follow the farm system like.

    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      the window for the Yanks is virtually endless. with the money they have, they’ll never be at a lack for top talent. while Jeter, Mo, Po and Arod are declining, Tabata, Ajax, Montero, etc. are on the rise. not to mention FAs/trades in the future.

  • Rob

    “The reported division of opinion makes clear that Cashman has lost the ultimate authority he had supposedly been given when he agreed to his last contract.”

    You’re just making things up. This was a tough decision and they handled it exactly as any organization would. Meanwhile, it’s a fair deal.

    Worse, of all the deals that people are citing (Vazquez, Weaver, Unit, Brown) name one prospect they gave up that amounted to anything.

    The closest is Lily. Wow.

    • ShawnT

      Its not about the trades its about the contracts given to those players

  • The Scout

    You have to use young talent intelligently, with a clear overall plan. If there is one at work here, I do not see it.

    Hughes has an enormous upside; if he stays healthy, we will see him at an All-Star level within three years. (We don’t yet know the third player in the deal) When your team has been hurting for young pitchers around whom to build, you don’t deal that kind of asset for anything other than a comparable piece. (I am old enough to remember the ill-fated trade of Doug Drabek for Rick Rhoden, who had one year left in his arm. Drabek went on to win a Cy Young.) I would put Eric Bedard in the class of brilliant young pitchers you bank on, and he’s also a lefty.

    Santana has been a great pitcher — there was none better in 2005, possibly 2006. This year he showed signs of wear — the late season sag after his 17 K performance, the poor record against the Indians (another likely obstacle in the play-offs), a mediocre record against the AL East. Not the kind of bet I would make for seven years.

    Assuming neither player is injured (a big if, of course, but how else can you assess the deal at this point?), I believe the performance of the two pitchers will intersect in two or three seasons — Santana trending downward, Hughes up — after which Hughes will be the better pitcher.

    Of course, there is always the likelihood that after five years of service, when the Twins realize they can’t sign Hughes, they deal him back to the Yankees for the new stud prospects Betances and Montero, and we get to repeat this argument!

    • yankz

      The plan is definitely intact. Save money by developing prospects (Wang, Cano, the trio, the minors). Use that saved money to blow everybody else away for the best players in the game (Arod, Santana, Posada).

      They didn’t trade for Buehrle this year. They’re not signing Carlos Silva. They have a plan.

    • kingshaffy

      i actually thought the same thing…we should be able to get him back when he’s 26…

  • Outlaw43

    On a team where the mandate is to win a championship every year no matter what, you never side with potential over results. It just doesn’t make sense.

    That said, does anybody here really strongly believe that in 3 years Santana will be better than Hughes? Johan’s trending downwards and Hughes is still the best pitching prospect in baseball (a hammy injury shouldn’t change that.) And the Yankees should give the Twins their starting center fielder and another top prospect for the pleasure of making this swap?

    I really don’t like this at all.

  • Ron

    “but there is no doubt that this trade makes the Yankees better for at least the next 3-5 years.”

    I respectfully disagree. MAYBE in 2008. But I think that Hughes will flat out be better than Santana after that.

    And the other downside to this is, now Beane loses leverage for Haren, so the Sux swoop in and get him on the cheap.

    If this trade goes through, it will be a sad day in Yankee history.

    • yankz

      Ignoring the sad events that actually matter (Munson, Lidle, etc.), landing the best pitcher in baseball is not a sad day. It’s a questionable one. Pavano signing was a sad day. This is somewhere between OK and outstanding.

    • Rob

      And Hughes still won’t have the arm strength to pitch 200 innings in 2009.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    this just in! Boston in trade talks with Minnesota to acquire Phil Hughes. more soon…

  • Rob

    “You have to use young talent intelligently, with a clear overall plan. If there is one at work here, I do not see it.”

    Then you’re a blind scout. They’re trading a top pitching prospect for the proven best pitcher in baseball. The plan is very much intact.

    “if he stays healthy”

    In his first MLB year, Hughes didn’t exactly offer confidence on that critical dimension.

  • Rob

    Can we be done with this Johan “trending downwards” nonsense?

    Year: H/9—–Hr/9—-BB/9–K/9—–WHIP
    2003: 7.22 0.97 2.67 9.61 1.10
    2004: 6.16 0.95 2.13 10.46 0.92
    2005: 6.99 0.85 1.75 9.25 0.97
    2006: 7.16 0.92 1.81 9.44 1.00
    2007: 7.52 1.36 2.14 9.66 1.07

    Yeah, it looks real dramatic to me!

    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      no one’s saying its dramatic, but that DEFINITELY shows a downward trend. you didnt mention era, that too has gone up.

      • Rob

        The only thing I care about is K:BB. That’s the only thing in his direct control that hasn’t moved. The rest is just normal variation.

        • Count Zero

          Actually, I would say that a 0.4 bump in HR/9 is significant. If you do splits for first half/second half of 2007 there is definitely a downward trend. He gave up 1.47 HR/9 and his WHIP was 1.22 in the second half. Hardly anything to cry about I know, but still.

          But all in all, I agree — the “downward trend” has been greatly exaggerated. The only thing that worries me is that he definitely looked like something was wrong with him in September. Maybe he just hit a bad streak — maybe not. It’s troubling that his “down period” was the last time anyone saw him.

          If we sign him to a 6x$20MM+ extension and it turns out that there is actually something wrong with him, this trade will end up looking mighty bad. My basic bias against this trade isn’t so much losing Hughes — it’s the fact that I don’t like giving pitchers six year contracts when they are about to turn 29. It’s never really clear how a pitcher is going to age, unless he’s a knuckleballer.

  • The Scout

    Hughes suffered a hamstring injury (like half the team), then a freak ankle sprain. When he injures his arm or his back, talk to me.

    Santana WAS “the proven best pitcher in baseball.” Past tense. Not this year. Look at the numbers, check the record.

    This is NOT the deal in which to include your best tradable asset (the Yankees already having excluded Chamberlain and Cano from consideration).

    • yankz

      Then what was? Pujols isn’t exactly available.

      • Rob

        Yeah, the Yanks should have waited to trade Hughes and Melky for Pujols!!!!

  • Dude, It’s F’ing Johan Santana…..

    75% of these posts are focusing on hughes, hughes, hughes……. IT IS JOHAN SANTANA. HE IS FUCKNG FILTHY NASTY. You all won’t be crying when he serves up the golden sombramo in the opening series to Ortiz, will you?

    you have to give to get…..

    PS. Did anyone give a shit about Melky 2 years ago? no! We all wanted to throw him away when he came up and hit .200 and made us look stupid in front of the Red Sox. We are just buying some time until Tabata comes up in 3 years and holds on to the CF job for the next 15.

    Everyone take a deep breath. We need attitude in our rotation and I fucking LOVE a Johan, Joba, Wang, Kennedy, Mussina starting 5.

    Jorge is right… we need an ace in the worst way possible. Is everyone forgetting that Johan is THE BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL? I know, I know… the future, the future…. THE YANKEES WILL BE FINE WITHOUT PHIL HUGHES. As much as it hurts to say….they will be fine…


    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      1. you’re being very short-sighted.
      2. were you also screaming ‘It’s Fucking Randy Johnson!’ 2 years ago?
      3. Tabata is a corner outfielder. no way he’ll play CF in the Bronx.

      • yankz

        Who did they give up for RJ that ended up biting them in the ass?

        And again, Santana will be 29. And he’s been dominating the AL.

        • Count Zero


  • Rob

    “This is NOT the deal in which to include your best tradable asset (the Yankees already having excluded Chamberlain and Cano from consideration).”

    What WAS that deal? Who else would you rather have?

  • Rob

    “Hughes suffered a hamstring injury (like half the team), then a freak ankle sprain. When he injures his arm or his back, talk to me.”

    That tells me he’s fragile and his body is suspect. Talk to me when he pitches 200 innings in a year. At the current rate, that will be in 2010.

  • The Scout


    No one has said “dramatic”. Hits were up, home runs were up, he sagged late in the season. Don’t misunderstand those of us who doubt the wisdom of a long-term commitment to Santana. He is, today, a legitimate number one starter and one of the top five pitchers in the league. I don’t doubt that. I simply question whether he can remain in that elite class for more than another couple of years. That’s the kind of judgment you make when considering whether to give a pitcher a seven-year deal. It’s also the calculation you make when you try to judge the future trajectory of each pitcher in the equation.

  • Dude, It’s F’ing Johan Santana…..

    I posted this a while back, but I’ll say it again….

    We all know Hughes is very very very good….BUT, could it be possible that the Yankees have been OVER Hyping him for the past couple years with the thought of landing Johan in 07-08 the whole time?

    call me crazy….

  • The Scout

    Afraid either I’m not writing clearly or others aren’t reading me clearly. I said that if I am prepared to deal my most marketable asset (Hughes), I want a younger pitcher with a longer upside. To me, Bedard is the most likely candidate, and the O’s reportedly have expressed a willingness to consider moving him.

    • zack

      Hey buddy, check out Bedard’s age. Then check out his injury history. At least check your basic facts first

    • Mike R.

      Johan Santana – Born March 13, 1979
      Eric Bedard – Born March 6, 1979

  • Rob

    “That’s the kind of judgment you make when considering whether to give a pitcher a seven-year deal. ”

    The money is irrelevant. Today, this is a very good deal. That’s all that matters. Worry about 2010 then.

    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      again, extremely short sighted.

      • Rob

        To you?

        How exactly did the Yankees damage the future of the organization in acquiring:

        Weaver? Yeah, Lily would have made a huge difference.
        Vazquez? Yeah, Nick the Stick would have been on the field for 150 games out of the last 300. Juan Rivera would have meant they didn’t sign Matsui.
        Brown? Yeah, Yhency Brazoban would have solved all the bullpen problems.
        Unit? Yeah, Dioner Navarro would have allowed Jorge to walk.

        Fact is, none of those were short-sighted. They were fair deals just like this one. Except here, the Yankees get the best pitcher in baseball. I’ll take it, thanks.

        • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

          the Yanks have never (at least in the past 30 years) had these type of prospects. just bc Brazoban and NJ havent become stars doesnt mean Hughes will follow in that path.

          • Rob

            When’s the last time the Yankees clearly lost a trade?

            They gave up something to get something. The difference is they gave up potential to get reality.

            I think it’s just as likely that Melky develops power as Phil turns into a #1. So be it.

            • kingshaffy

              when have they signed a player worth the money they paid him? Damon, Giambi, Mussina, Farnsworth, Pavano, etc. Methinks track record with BUYING talent is worse than DEVELOPING (Melky, Cano, Wang, Joba, Hughes, Jeter, Pettitte, etc.)

  • Rob

    “To me, Bedard is the most likely candidate, and the O’s reportedly have expressed a willingness to consider moving him.”

    So you want to trade Hughes for Bedard? Even while Bedard is *older* and less proven than Santana.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      “Even while Bedard is *older*”

      You’re going to nitpick over eight days?

  • The Scout

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. I think we’ve aired the issues pretty thoroughly. I wish someone would note who among us is in favor of the deal and who opposes it. Then, if it actually happens, we should look back a couple of years from now and give an “I told you so” award to the better visionairies. Good night and good luck, all!

  • Paul

    Stark wrote about how no one in history has had the 4 year stretch Santana has had. So, if no one has ever done it, what are the odds that he will reels off another 2-4 years in a row like that??? Which is what the Yankees are paying for. And if early on in the course of a 6 year contract, he ends up being just a really good pitcher instead of a great one, will it have been worth giving up Hughes and the other player(s) who they could have gotten with the 25 mill per year they pay to Santanat? I guess my point is, I think the odds of Hughes becoming a very good pitcher are about the same as Santana slipping down to being a “just” a very good pitcher… so it is not worth trading 2-3 other good young prospects and spending 150 million dollars for Santana.

  • Mac

    I am still not totally convinced Hughes is going anywhere.

    Heyman and Olney’s articles were both updated after the daily news article went up and they both definitively say the Yanks are willing/may be willing to include Hughes…not that they definitely are. This may be elaborate maneuvering.

    Either way, this will be very interesting.

  • JT from NYC

    I can understand everyones view point on this trade.

    There has been so much hype about Phil the franchise, I would love to see his abilities develop as a Yankee.

    But if the trade does goes through, I can’t really gripe about it too much.

  • Rob

    And of course this could still fall apart. Suppose the Twins get greedy. Or Santana’s physical comes back with a problem.

    A lot of things still need to come together.

  • Mitchell’s Eleven

    we still have to wait and see.

    if it does happen this way, you have to shake your head. another superstar joins the crowded field, but does it really get the team closer to a championship? we’re obsessed with individuals and not the sum being greater than the individual parts.

    when Cashman reversed course on A-Rod, we gave him the benefit of the doubt. if he changes course on the development of this team because a shiny piece enticed him, then he is truly a worthless GM.

    but, hey, we’ll have a heck of rotation next year. would that still beat Cleveland in the ALDS, though?

    • Rob

      “if he changes course on the development of this team because a shiny piece enticed him, then he is truly a worthless GM.”

      I can’t respect anything you say after that statement.

      • Mitchell’s Eleven

        then don’t. like i give a crap about anyone who makes a statement like yours has to say.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    it seems pretty certain that Hughes IS/WILL BE offered. “the club finally agreed to put Hughes in a package that includes center fielder Melky Cabrera and at least one other lesser pitching prospect still to be negotiated, as of Friday night.” and the source saying “We’re going for it.”

  • Jewish Jackhammer

    I don’t understand how sports franchises don’t get that although winning is important to fans its actually not as important as rooting for certain players. Who are the most popular yankee players in the past 25 years. All but a couple of them are all home grown talent. That is not a surprise. Would any real yankee fan be happy if the yankees traded their 25 man roster for the Red sox 25 man roster. Sure our team would be better but that’s not the point. We want to see a kid come up and shine like we did for Mattingly, Jeter, Pettite, Rivera, and Posada. I’m sure in October when Santana is facing off against Beckett in game 1 of the ALCS Phil Huges will be a distant memory. But I look at Hughes stats and compare them to any pitcher at his age and he has hall of fame written all over him.

    On top of that, the yankee management is mentally challenged. I mean why is that a guy whose dad got rich building boats should be the deciding factor on a baseball decision is beyond me. All they had to do was have the best offer. Which they had with Kennedy. The twins would have eventually relented instead of being left holding the bag. These are same geniuses who gave A-rod 10 years when no one else would have given him 8.

    And, on top of all this the yankees would have their pick of ridiculous good starting pitchers next year. Peavy and Sabathia. Why don’t you just wait and throw 20 million a year at one of them. Imagine putting out Sabathia, Wang, Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy.

    How could all of us yankee fans be so sick over this if it was a good move? Honestly, I think I have to start rooting for the twins. By ’08, they’ll have all yankees playing for them anyway.

    • Rob

      “How could all of us yankee fans be so sick over this if it was a good move? Honestly, I think I have to start rooting for the twins. By ‘08, they’ll have all yankees playing for them anyway.”

      1. I’m not sick.
      2. Go root for the twins.

    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      yep. beyond the factual arguments against this deal (stats, projections, history, etc.), it’s just more fun for us (or me at least) to root for homegrown guys.

      • Rob

        No “factual” reading of history or projections argues against this trade.

        If you want to get worked up about a one-year increase in H/9 and HR/9, then so be it. I’ll stick to the still dominant K:BB and WHIP.

        • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

          this is what Santana supporters point to when his decline is brought up: that his stats are still great. yes they are. no arguing that. unfortunately, they were better in the previous 3 years – that means he is declining.

          sure his whip was a great 1.07 this year. at the current rate, next year it’ll be 1.15, then 1.23, then 1.31, etc.
          know what i’m saying?

          Hughes’ rookie year blows away Santana’s (at the same age also).

  • Paul

    Nothing to be sick about. I agree about not wanting to lose Hughes, and if it were up to me, I wouldn’t pull the trigger unless the Twins accepted a Kennedy based package. But, if the Hughes trade is made, the Yankees get SANTANA. That cannot be classified as a disaster. It is certainly not a bad thing. And it will not be a bad thing to avoid seeing Santana in a red sox uniform next year. So, it sucks if they lose Hughes, but its not like they’re giving him away. No need to jump off any bridges.

  • dan

    Hughes had better be the only legit pitching prospect traded. If Horne, Marquez, Sanchez, or someone else goes i might jump ship and start reading D-Rays Bay

  • Dan C

    Beginning with their handling of the Torre situation, it seems like Hank is a hack. He is a fan-friendly owner, but we need someone who thinks outside the box, like someone said earlier. Yeah, Santana has been great, yes he probably will be very good for the next few years, barring injury. But isn’t that exactly what we all thought about Carl Pavano? Kevin Brown? Javier Vazquez? Randy Johnson? Roger Clemens (second coming)? The worst thing that can happen is Hughes is a bust. I say hang on to the kid, stand strong on a IPK-Melky-Tabata deal, if the Twins don’t bite, then take your chances on Joba-Hughes-IPK going foward. First Torre, then A-Rod, now this. If there are any Yanks fans expecting them to go on another run like 96-01, don’t hold your breath. We have seen better days.

    • Rob

      1. Torre didn’t deserve a two year deal.
      2. None of those previous deals cost the organization anything of significance.
      3. I’d rather keep Kennedy AND Tabata while trading Hughes.

  • Jake


    You keep saying the money is irrelevant. It’s not. Three things to consider:

    1) Yes, the Yanks can spend more than any other team in baseball. But even they have their financial constraints. Remember Beltran.

    2) The more money Santana gets (and it sounds like he’s going to get more than any other pitcher in history), the less flexibility the Yanks have should they decide they need to move him at some point (finances, injury, poor performance, whatever). Big contracts often become bad contracts.

    3) The higher the Yankees payroll (and it’s not just signing Santana, but a free agent replacement for Melky as well), the more of the luxury tax they pay. That means pumping more money into the pockets of other teams. That’s what’s happened the past few years. What it leads to is more teams having the resources to sign their own young players, so fewer young stars ever hit free agency. And that lessens the competitive advantage of deep pocketed teams like the Yanks.

    Those are all reasons I don’t like this deal. The Yanks are being asked to give up their top young prospect (not to mention starting CF and another prospect — likely someone like Tabata, who most expect to become a star) AND to pay him like a free agent, with probably more money and more years than makes sense. Either the prospects or the money would be a steep price, but probably one worth paying. But I think both is too much.

    Finally, just emotionally, this deal bums me out. I fully recognize Santana might mean more wins and that Hughes might never fulfill his full potential. But after watching the Yanks dump their top prospects or just never develop them for years, Phil was the kid who marked the beginning of a change of direction. Phil was the Phuture. The Phranchise. He symbolized something bigger than himself. He symbolized an end to the mercenary, short-sighted ways that made this team sometimes worse, sometimes better, but almost always tougher to love.

    Maybe some fans just tally up the wins and championships and that’s all there is to it. And I want a winning team on the field too. But for me, I find the players themselves and the stories as compelling as the standings. And so I root more for the kids, because of their youth, enthusiasm and, most of all, because they’re OUR kids, than I do the latest big free agent buy. That may be sentimental of me, but that’s part of what sports, especially the Yankees, are about for me. Johan is a great pitcher and, by all accounts, a great guy too. But I’m not invested in him the way I’m invested in Phil.

    And, for the record, I think Phil is going to be one hell of a pitcher someday soon.

    • Rob

      This is the most reasonable and thought out counter-argument I’ve read tonight. I could agree with almost everything, on some level, but instead it’s more fun to disagree…

      – They’re cutting over 65 million in salary after 2008 (Giambi, Moose, Pavano, Abreu, Farns)
      – They’re making more money with the new stadium (reported >50 million/year).
      – They still have a ton of youth for you to get excited about. As soon as this year 3/5 of the starting rotation will be homegrown.
      – Their homegrown starting CF will be replaced as soon as this year with another homegrown CF (Gardner) and upgraded again soon thereafter (Ajax).
      – Instead of paying a ton for bullpen help, they’ll be filling in the gaps with either homegrown talent (Cox, Veras, Beam, Henn) or acquired youthful talent (Edwar, Ohlendorf, Britton, Bruney, Sanchez).

    • Count Zero

      Exactly. You cannot debate the merits of this trade while ignoring the fact that it’s going to take at least a five year extension and $100MM to complete it. That’s not irrelevant — it’s totally relevant.

      Unless he continues to be a CY candidate (not a good pitcher, not an average #1 — a CY candidate) every year, he will be totally un-tradeable for the length of his contract. And it will mean that we will have at least $50MM in payroll tied up in two (count ’em — TWO) players for the next six years. This is not irrelevant. It has the makings of a complete disaster should the albeit unlikely outcome that both of them end up sucking two-three years from now occur.

      A business person would call that a very high risk business plan. Very high risk.

      • Rob

        Worst case he fills the Giambi money pit role. But there’s absolutely nothing to suggest that. And even then, they’d still be an excellent team every year. The deal won’t ever break them, but it has a high likelihood of making them. In that vein, the money doesn’t matter.

        • Count Zero

          We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one.

          He looked to me like something was wrong with him in September. As I said above, a 0.4 jump in HR/9 for the year is statistically significant — it’s a 50% increase over 200 IP. Maybe it’s an outlier — maybe not. There’s no way to know for sure.

          This trade makes me very nervous.

          • Rob

            You focusing on one datapoint. His K:BB and WHIP were exactly where they’ve been. That’s what he has control over.

            I don’t dispute that he had a bad last month (9 HR alone). But it’s crazy for people to use that against him despite the whole rest of the year and the four previous years.

            AS Zack says “Oh yeah, he STILL lead the league in WHIP this year, 3rd in h/9, 3rd in k/9,..

            • Count Zero

              He doesn’t have control over HR/9???

      • zack

        There is pretty much 0 chance that A-Rod declines any time soon.

        I just don’t get it. Santana comes off a down year that was BETTER THAN BECKETT’S GREATEST YEAR, this one, and everyone thinks hes a gonner. What, because hes a lefty? because he has a lot of innings on his arm (he doesn’t) because his whip has inched up each year, despite his era+ going up and down? An aberration HR year? K:BB has remained amazing, Whip is still amazing, IP is still great, H/9 has remained basically the same, Oh yeah, he STILL lead the league in WHIP this year, 3rd in h/9, 3rd in k/9,..

  • Jeff

    To be a real visionary you have to beleve that trading for Bedard is better than getting Santana… dreaming. period.
    The Twins did get a good deal but that comes with having the best pitcher in baseball when other teams are willing to put up more money. Player wise Hughes or Santana? …dreaming if you say Hughes – although because of injury and and the possibility of him regaining the 95-96moh fastball maybe you can say he’s worth second guessing. Maybe he can compare with Santana. But that is far from a lock.

  • Paul

    Jake, that is the best post I have read tonight

  • E-ROC

    It amazing what not winning a championship does to people. So much for saving Hughes. We’ll regret this one, if Hughes is a part of this trade.

    • Rob

      You have no way of knowing that. You might as well flip a coin as to whether you support this trade.

  • Jake

    Thanks, Paul. I thought about it for a while (probably more thought than is healthy to devote to something so trivial).

  • stuart

    so the new steinny will act like george in the bad old days when they overpaid for vets and won zippo….

    Hughes is stud they will regret this. boston would give them Jack but the Yankee brass(joke) will panic like many of the spoiled Yankee fans…

    Bad move….They will give santana a ungodly amount of money which he will never eserve and the beat goes on……….

  • Paul

    Jake, how healthy are any of us blogging at nearly 1:00 A.M. about mere trade rumors? But, I have been reading and thinking about this so much for last few days, and have been so ambivalent about it. Your thoughts were pretty unique and really helped me to clarify things and finally reach a conclusion in my own mind.

  • zack

    No, winning is far far more important than rooting for one player or two. You don’t win by keeping everyone and being loyal. Talk to Belicheck. Heck, talk to Theo. Heck, look at the Wells for Clemens move. You win by making the best move to win now, which is what the Yankees would be doing. Sure, it might not be the best move 5 years from now, but if you are looking 5 years down the road, you will never win now…

    People, in terms of financial flexibility, look at how much $ is coming off the books in the next few years. $ really isn’t a problem–the Yanks will always spend what it takes.

    Yeah, its a bummer to see a kid get traded, so imagine what it feels like to be every other team in the league besides the Yanks/Sox. In order to win, you give up talent. You also build from within. Remember Paul O’Neil? At the time, people killed the Yanks for giving up Roberto Kelly for him. Yeah, the Yanks had Jeter, Rivera, Posada, Mo, Bernie, and Pettitte, but most everyone else (including all of their #1s, mind you) were trades or FA pick ups…

    • Rob

      Two fantastic examples:

      Clemens required Wells
      O”Neill required Bobby

      And don’t forget:
      Cone required Janzen

  • Rob

    It’s the HOT stove, baby! I’m not sleeping until the deal is done.

  • http://dunnp@bc.edu paul dunn

    I agree with Jake. Keep Hughes, and the rest of the young pitchers. I don’t think Melky is an all star and he’s also not a great centerfiedler, but he’s the only one in the outfield with an arm. Santana is not going to put the Yanks over the top.

    • Rob

      “Santana is not going to put the Yanks over the top.”

      You’re telling me they don’t beat the Indians with Santana? Or the Tigers? Or the Angels?

      • yankz

        Reading through WasWatching archives about Hughes, I found this: http://tinyurl.com/39vvnk

        Mike A., you once were ready to trade Hughes for Aaron Cook. But now you won’t trade him for the best pitcher alive? What happened?

        • yankz

          Um, that wasn’t supposed to be a reply.

  • waswhining

    The news behind the news: If I were Hank and I mean thinking-about-my-reputation-with-fans Hank, I would float a story to the daily news about giving up hughes after I’d pretty much sewn the deal with IPK. This is Bill Madden, right?

    Couple years back Lester was considered superior to Hughes, THE stud of the sawks system.

    If the deal IS true, I think it bodes poorly for Andy’s return and without him the trade makes perfect sense. It also means adding a Clippard or a Wright rather than a Horne. I understand the angst. The arrival of Hughes this year, marred by the injury, was thrilling. It was special when he was pitching.

    While we’re at it why not make it a megadeal and get Joe Nathan too. Safety in numbers, somebody is going to be a lemon. Let’s dance.

    I’m with the guy who feels comfortable with Stick.

  • Rob

    I was just thinking about what it would take to get Nathan. But I can’t see the Twins doing that megadeal. They still have the possibility of contending with Hughes instead of Santana. And the Young-Garza trade tells me that’s exactly what they’d like to do.

    Point is: I think the Yankees would have to overpay for Nathan right now. It wouldn’t be a BOGO.

  • Paul

    Between the quotes from his Dad, and Posada, it makes me wonder if Pettitte has already told the Yanks that he is definitely not coming back and the yanks asked him to hold off announcing it so that the info is not used to extort them in trades. If they know for sure Pettitte wont be back, this might be part of the reason why they seem so desperate to get Santana right now rather than wait and see if any other players (ones for whom they need not trade Hughes) become available later – like a Bedard.

    • Count Zero

      I would say the odds are quite good that you’re right.

      But I highly doubt Bedard would get traded in the division anyway. In my mind, that deal is never going to happen.

      • Rob

        Not to the same extent. The wind could be blowing out.

        But I agree that last month is a bit worrisome. Take that out and no one is complaining about HR/9. He had four good months and one bad (after four excellent years).

        Instead, people want to look at Hughes one good month and ignore the rest. That’s a weird double-standard.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    waswhining, if minny and the yanks had agreed on Kennedy as the centerpiece, they would reneg if they read this story. damn, i wish i knew who that ‘source’ is that the News quotes.

  • Dan C

    ESPN.com took the Hughes story off the main stories….Maybe a quick rumor that fades fast?? I honestly think they can make the deal without Hughes, if Minny gets desperate enough later in the offseason

    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      maybe the news is considered old(er) now. off to bed. may i wake to find this was all a dream (or rather nightmare)…

  • Paul

    One other thought before calling it a night. I actually think Hughes will be better than Chamberlain ( at least as a starter). Before he got hurt, he looked really really good. His velocity clearly dropped after the injury and that is only temporary. But even not at 100% he looked really good again at the end. He will only get better than that. Everything you read about him in the last year or two is that the guy has a tremendous make up and pitching IQ along with several plus pitches. Pitchers like that who have some success in their initial run around the league do NOT become busts – unless they get injured. And the chances of Hughes getting hurt are no greater than Santana getting hurt (after tossing 200+ innings for 4 straight years). Not to mention it hurts less to have a league minimum guy getting TJ surgery than it does to have a $25 million dollar player getting it.

    • Rob

      “And the chances of Hughes getting hurt are no greater than Santana getting hurt (after tossing 200+ innings for 4 straight years).”

      How do you know THAT? The kid hurt himself twice last year while pitching. Santana last had an “injury” in 2003 – 800 innings and two CY’s ago.

  • Rob

    What’s the fascination with Bedard?

    1. He’s older than Santana.
    2. He’s had exactly one very good year.
    3. He’s never pitched in a big game.
    4. He’s not going to be had for much less than Santana, if at all.
    5. He missed the last month with arm soreness.

    • Count Zero

      Agreed — Bedard is a misdirection/distraction/hallucination. :-)

  • yankz

    I posted this above, but hope it doesn’t get lost:

    Reading through WasWatching archives about Hughes, I found this: http://tinyurl.com/39vvnk

    Mike A., you once were ready to trade Hughes for Aaron Cook. But now you won’t trade him for the best pitcher alive? What happened?

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Hughes was still in A ball at the time (I believe), and I had high hopes for Cook. Hughes has shown enough in the majors for me to be against moving him.

  • Jeff

    1) At the time Beltran had one good layoff run coupled with a shotty career batting average. Not worth it.
    2) It is a risk as far as flexibility but thats the chance you take.
    3) You made a couple of points a) money b) melky c) team philosophy
    a) We will pump up the price beyond the Zito deal but baseball economics state getting past the first round may count for something. WS = Money. Reggie was expensive too. Can’t hate the Steinbrenners for exploiting that.
    b) Melky – I know that Damond is soft back in center but there is a log jam and Giambi need to get some regular at bats. After all he is getting paid a kings randsom to sit the bench right now.
    c) mercenary team – sorry 1918 used to be my favorite number and 2 in 4 years means lets cut their throats. If you’re invested in Phil because he’s from our farm hope Pettit comes back… maybe he will now that the team looks more championship geared. Phil is a Sox fan anyway so I can’t feel the it.
    Everbody else – think about it Santana! Yes!!!

  • Rob

    Good night all. Until tomorrow (and the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that …)

  • Paul

    “how do you know THAT? The kid hurt himself twice last year while pitching. Santana last had an “injury” in 2003 – 800 innings and two CY’s ago.”

    No one “knows” about injuries. Just like you don’t know about whether Santana’s late season slump is indicative of the start of a slight decline or a mere blip on the radar. All you can do is prognosticate, and to me, Hughes’ injuries last year were not arm related and Santana has thrown a lot of innings – so if I had to bet on one having arm issues, I would bet it would be Santana rather than Hughes. Just one of the considerations (along with money and how much other talent you have to give up) that must be made before making a deal like this.

  • yankz

    Everybody, just imagine this in a playoff series: http://tinyurl.com/29a4j9

    • dan

      I saw your link above to Mike’s comments on Was Watching. I realize Mike made a big mistake with that comment, looking back on it now… But regardless of what he said, you can’t look at that in deciding whether or not to back this trade. At the time he said that, Hughes was about 2 months into his AA career, and the yankees were desperate at that point (they ended up trading for abreu to add offense).

      • dan

        holy shit i need to sleep, please forgive the redundancy/incoherence.

        • yankz

          I’m not trying to accuse him of hypocrisy or anything. I’m just wondering what changed. Did Hughes show THAT much in the majors?

  • zack

    I am still so surprised how people are reacting to this news, whether true or not. You would think the Yankees were trading their entire farm system for Curt Schilling right now instead of a 29 year old left handed stud.

    I know that it has been great following Hughes, but let’s be honest people, a big part of that reason was because he was until this year the ONLY one to follow combined with the explosion of blogs dedicated to the minors. 4 years ago 90% of Yanks fans know anything about Hughes. If Hughes had never pitched in the majors this year, nobody would mind so much, thus Hanley in Boston.

    But come on, it hurts to potentially give up Hughes (although as I have said all along, until I see “official word’ I don’t buy any of it, as Hank’s comment suggest), but the return is huge. It puts the Yankees in position not just to compete but to dominate. They still have the offense, and you have to believe their pitching will be better and thats better than a team that STILL handled the Sox last year. Santana starting at Yankee stadium will be $ all year, that place is built for him…

    Night all, I suspect we will be having this same conversation a week from now with nothing new but more posturing

  • dan

    Just to clarify some incorrectness around here….

    Bedard is 8 days older than Santana, not a year, according to Baseball Reference (although fangraphs says a week).

    Some people have been corrected on this already, but whatever it’s here again.

    BTW, is this thread a record # of posts?

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  • George

    Hey Rob, from all the “real knowledgeable” Yankee fans that read and blog on RAB, shut up. You sound more like a cross between a Red Sox’s and Twins fan than a knowledgeable Yanky supporter. You can counter argue or not with me or all of us but personally speaking in the end, the Hughes trade isn’t just about winning or losing, its about nurturing your own. Surrounding and building a future around those that can one day be called, true Yankees.

    Did you know that the Angels vetoed the drafting of Hughes in favor of Weaver in 04? Arties top scouts and GM at the time favored Hughes over Weaver? Why is that? Baseball executives have said the same thing for the past three years about Phil, that he is a number one franchise starter, in a year or two from now. Which means, if he stays health and inspired, he can be on my ball club for 10 plus years. I would prefer 10 plus years of with a kid from our system, that leads us along with Joba, IPK, Brackman, Betances, Herrera, Melancon, etc… to a number of playoffs, World Series appearances and championships, than someone who may only last for five years out of seven. I prefer our own.

    I haven’t received permission from the well versed “Jewish Jackhammer”, Dan C, Jake, paul etc… but I am certain they appreciate your fencing with them, but please stop considering this trade a plus, plus for us when its not. In the long term, Hughes would have become a better fit for this historic franchise than a Santana. Santana’s resent health issues. Financial and number of years should be red flagged. Synergy between himself, his catcher, manager, pitching coach and GM will be in questioned.

    You like me, are entitled too your opinion. Still if this trade happens, it will be more costly to us than the past seven year trades that we have made.

    • Rob

      “Hey Rob, from all the “real knowledgeable” Yankee fans that read and blog on RAB, shut up.”

      What are you going to do if I don’t? Type more furiously?

      After lots of blah, blah, blah, let’s address your “argument”:

      1. “Hughes would have become a better fit for this historic franchise than a Santana.”

      And you know this HOW?

      2. “Santana’s resent health issues.”

      Um, hate to break this to you but he’s had NONE. After surgery in 2003 to remove bone chips, he’s thrown over 800 innings and won two CY’s. Hughes, by contrast,…

      3. “Financial and number of years should be red flagged.”

      Are you writing the checks?

      4. “Synergy between himself, his catcher, manager, pitching coach and GM will be in questioned.”

      Jorge just said it was amazing catching him. Johan has never had any issues with anyone. Unless you know something the rest of civilization doesn’t?

      Looks like you “George” haven’t said anything of value. Keep trying though. I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it sooner or later.

    • yankz

      Who the hell are you to decide who’s real, who’s knowledgeable, and who can post? The first two are arbitrary, and the last is up to the mods.

  • Alvaro

    Cashman has botched every negotiation so far this offseason.

  • Bart

    Making the deal is smart — but there are 2 pitfalls – (other than Hughes is as stellar as belived by fans)
    – one is that 3rd player may be some one we shpuld not lose and
    – 2 if the Yankees believe they must now go get a CF at more cost and less use than Melky — they should stick with Damon and Matsui but bring Garner and Jackson along — not sayin they are certain front line players — other than pitcher injuries they are more risk than Hughes or IPK but they are superior to Melky

    Now that they cleared the brain constipation they can procede to get Haren of Bedard

    IPK plus who– Orioles in same Div – so maybe no way but they could take Tejada to help the O’s free up money and move Jeter to 1B.

    Out of the box ???

  • http://riveravenuewatch.blogspot.com Mikek NYY

    Hughes and Melky is probably a fair trade. Putting in an Austin Jackspon or Jose Tabta? Insanity.

    Sweeton the Kennedy offer. Make it Jackson instead of Melky and offer both Tabata and Horne but don’t give up Hughes.

    If it can get done without Hughes or Cano then its a good deal but those two have to be untouchable

  • Pinstripeglory

    The new Yankees look a lot like the old Yankees. Stockpiling superstars and costly contracts. From the sound of it young Hanky is a real dolt, and he was made to blink by the f***ing Red Sox. We give up Hughes, Cabrera, and another prospect for the priveledge of handing over $150 million dollars to Santana. If we do getter he along with that overpriced primadonna at 3rd better win THIS year –

  • Hot Stove Exploding

    The new Yankees look a lot like the old Yankees. Stockpiling superstars and costly contracts. From the sound of it young Hanky is a real dolt, and he was made to blink by the f***ing Red Sox. We give up Hughes, Cabrera, and another prospect for the priveledge of handing over $150 million dollars to Santana. If we do get Santana, he along with that overpriced primadonna at 3rd better win THIS year – NO EXCUSES! It’s gonna be hard enough with the black hole at 3rd for the next 10 years, I figured the Yanks could put a team around him that really wanted to win and was easy to root for – because he is not! Seems like Cash is against the trade so dont blame him.

  • http://riveravenuewatch.blogspot.com Mikek NYY

    Hughes was getting his fastball back at the end of the year with the help of Eiland. In hius second ML starter he almost had a no-hitter. His curve is Zito-esque. He’s 22 years old by the way. Theiur’s a reason they had Phil Franchise shirts outside Yankee Stadium his first start. Anybody can get a freak hamstring or ankle injury. Its noit a sign of things to come. The innings limit does hurt him but he`ll still be a very good pitcher until that time.

    Melky is already an above average player and he`s 23. He`s better than many stars were at hias age. He shuts down the running game from cneter field. he`s the only good defensive outfielder we have

    Okay, so we have Hughes who is a good pitcher already and then we have Melky who saves a ton of runs defensively.

    Now how many runs is Santana really going to save over what these two will?

    THen we give up Austin jackson to?

  • tony from the bronx

    The yanks will not trade Hughes.I cant believe they will trade a young,cost efficient,probable ace,and then sweeten the pot with Melky and A.J.Can we be that stupid?

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Hey, maybe Santana will fail the physical.

  • KeystoneSC

    I am disgusted. I am fed up with this stuff. Just when you thought that the Yankees were going in the right direction….. I do not want to lose Phil Hughes. I am willing to take the chance on him. I don’t care if the Red Sox get Santana. If Hughes is traded, my enthusiasm for the Yankees takes a huge hit. Of course, time will tell regarding how this will end up – but losing Phil Hughes is definitely something I do not want to see. Unlike any other team in baseball, the Yankees don’t have “transition” periods. This may be one of the reasons there has been no World Series title since 2000.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Gammons said on ESPN last night that the Sox changed their offer to include Ellsbury instead of Coco. Let’s hope this isn’t more of his neo-Red Sox bullshit to drive up the price even more.

    • Rob

      Even if so,

      Hughes + Melky + Betemit > Lester + Ellsbury + Lowrie

      If the Sox are serious, they HAVE to include Buchholz and pull Lester. I’d call that bluff any day of the week.

      Though to change it up, I’d be willing to go:

      Cano + Melky + Horne

      I still can’t see the cost-cutting Twins taking on Cano though. I wouldn’t be pumped to trade Cano, but that Soriano comp nags me.

  • brxbmrs

    Santana, Wang, Joba, IPK, Moose or hopefully – Santana, Wang, Pettitte, Joba, IPK is pretty hard to pass up.

    I’d rather let Santana get his 160 mil elsewhere but its hard not to like that rotation – especially if Joba is not as effective as a starter and goes back to setup\closer the next few years.

    I hope the Yanks don’t overpay for Rowand though and give Gardner the shot or come up with a guy like David DeJesus who they tried to get two years ago and has been rumoured to be made available again.

  • Rob

    Who said anything about Ajax in the deal? Why do I keep reading his name?

  • Alvaro

    Melky and Hughes is bad enuf – but including Tabata or AJax is just crazy. I think Melky is being really undervalued here. He’s younger than Ellsbury and has 2 years of MLB experience under his belt.

    This deal needs to die.

  • Rob

    Who said anything about Tabata either? You guys are just making things up to increase your anxiety.

    Hughes + Melky + Clippard/Marquez is a very fair deal. The only way it gets interesting is if the Sox offer Buchholz+Ellsbury or the Dodgers enter the fold with Clayshaw + Loney/LaRoche/Kemp or the Angels with Adenhart + Kendrick.

  • brxbmrs


    We are going to miss Melky’s arm in CF – unless the Yanks bring in Andruw Jones on a 1 year deal. I think Melk is going to develop into a real good offensive player -.300/.375/.450+, I’m not in love with seeing him go but it seems the Yanks FO is determined to play “catch up” with the Sox and try to win another ring or two while Jorge/Jeter and Mo are still near the top of their game.

    I said elsewhere no matter what we do its gonna be bittersweet – I’d rather see the Sox give up Ellsbury, Lester plus and take our chances with what we have, but as we know its not up to us.

    Hope Theo blinks and gets Santana, but unfortunately the Sox really don’t need him – not like the Yanks “think” we do.

    • Rob

      “the Yanks FO is determined to play “catch up” with the Sox”

      I disagree strongly with that characterization. They’re trying to put the best possible team on the field. Period. Santana is an obvious upgrade.

      • brxbmrs


        That’s cool if you see it that way, and maybe there’s some people in the FO that feel Hughes is never going to be near what Santana is right now.

        But for me, this is a bit of a panic move – since the Sox have won another WS, we are going to spend whatever to get Santana who quite frankly may be in decline.

        Its a good problem to have – the FO willing to spend what it takes, but for long term fans building a team of high priced free agents kinda takes some of the fun out of rooting for the team – rather than having home grown kids who were indoctrinated into the Yanks way of doing things, we get guys who most times have played their best ball for some other team.

        And thanks to increased pe scrutiny – guys are showing their age on the diamond at an earlier age.


  • brxbmrs


    If I were the Twins, I’d want Betemit thown in the deal – the guy looked good at 3rd and can swat from the right side. I’d rather have him than a Clippard – don’t know why we haven’t heard more about that (other than speculation about why the Yanks are interested in Loretta).

    • Rob

      I agree. That makes sense. Still, imagine if I told you:

      Hughes + Melky + Proctor = Johan Santana

    • RZG

      Betemit hits much better left-handed than as a righty batter. But I agree he’d help the Twins.

  • Alvaro

    From Caldera, Bergan Record

    “Sources have indicated that it could take a package that includes Hughes and Ian Kennedy (along with two top prospects) to impress the Twins, who have not warmed to a deal that centers on Kennedy and Melky Cabrera, even with outfield prospect Jose Tabata included.”

  • Rob

    Fair enough. But Caldera is the only one reporting that with a lot of other folks reporting otherwise.

    It’s Hughes OR Kennedy/Tabata. Hughes AND Kennedy is well beyond anything any other team would offer. I can’t see the Yanks ever doing that, and the Post report specifically says they wouldn’t.

  • Larry

    There is nothing more that I can add that hasn’t already been said. Both sides make strong points, but one thing hasn’t been said. If NYY didn’t re-up A-Rod, they would have had to make a trade (Miguel Cabrera) and using their chips (Hughes perhaps) and still not having any improved pitching. You might say thanks to A-Rod we’re getting Santana. Sad but true.

    • Rob

      Good point. I’m not sure it’s a sad thing though. For Hughes, Melky et al. they’ll have the best player and pitcher in the game (the 450 million helps too!)

  • http://mrsteinbrenner.blogspot.com BillyBalla

    I REALY, REALY, REALY, hope the Sawx make this trade and we are out of the Santana bidding and we keep all of our prospects. What’s amazing is Hughes is a better prospect than Bucholz but they refuse to trade him and we give in. We are now going to have to watch Hughes put up fantastic numbers for at least the next 6 years with the twinkies. The Red Sox and Met fans must be happy as they no longer need to worry about us bragging about King Philip and the numbers he was gonna put up. Now my question is would you rather trade Hughes, Melky, and another prospect such as a Humberto Sanchez, or Mark Melancon (because I highly doubt the 3rd player will be a tyler clippard) or would you rather trade Cano, Melky, and a marginal prospect (clippard) with money if the Twins want Cano? Trading Hughes was out of the question for me. This is a joke!

    p.s. to Brian–I apologize for mistyping Carmine Agnello’s name, and I apologize to the Agnello family, lol. But you are soo off the money if your gonna tell me on one hand your not worried about 2-3 years down the road but you don’t want to trade Hughes. If you move Cano in the trade and move Jeter over to 2nd base in the immediate future to improve the defense that makes alot more sense than trading Hughes. Telling me Cano is much better than Jeter is ridiculous as well, they are to completely different players. Cano’s defense can be replaced. Cano’s offense can also be replaced. What he lacks is speed. If I had a choice I would trade Cano over Hughes. From what I was reading from the rumor mills the Twins did have interest in Cano.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      You mean Carmen Angelini?

  • brxbmrs


    I agree to a point – Kelly for O’Neill was a great trade – Betemit isn’t Proctor and Bet fills their need at 3rd.

    Also, I’m not saying its just Bet as the final piece.

    And to RZG – you are right – I got it backwards – Bet hits righties – that’s what I meant to say.

  • Soxie

    Hmmm. Buchholz is the Sox #1 prospect, Hughes the Yankees #1 – It doesn’t matter which is better if one team will and the other team won’t include them in a deal. Irrelevant.

    As a Sox fan I’m glad they won’t trade Buchholz or Ellsbury, at the same time, I think it might make sense for the Yankees to trade Hughes for Santana because they are dealing from a different position than the Red Sox are. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get Jones or Rowland for Center Field either.

    Go Sox

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      A Sox poster who’s not a troll? That’s…that’s never happened before, has it?

    • kris

      According to the Daily News writers, Minnie thinks a package centered on Hughes is better than one centered on Lester + Creepy. So even if the sox include Creepy it’s still not as good as Hughes.

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    Let me say for the record, I am against trading Hughes period. But to trade both Hughes and Melky is ridiculous. Melky is 23 years old and I think he is well on his way to becoming a solid major league player. That being said, if he is the centerpiece in a trade that returns Santana you can’t argue it. The idea of including Hughes on top of that is very short sighted. Hughes could turn out to be an outstanding pitcher in his own right, throw in the 5 year, 100 million plus contract that will have to be offered to Santana,and the Yanks could find themselves royally screwed.

    One more thing, it appears Gene Michael is in favor of making this trade which coconcerns me to no end. Wasn’t it Michael who was claiming Jeff Weaver was a number one starter, don’t forget Vasquez another Michael recommendation. I think Michael feels Hughes may be overrated but I think it’s Gene’s scouting ability that may be overrated.

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