Based on a recent Twitter conversation, yesterday I took a look at the National League for players that I would trade Phil Hughes for. Today I’m back with the American League.
I might be in the minority on this one but I’d trade Hughes for Brian Matusz. He’s lefty, younger than Hughes and just put up a very good season as a rookie. A year younger than Hughes, he outperformed Hughes in both bWAR and fWAR. I’m on the fence on Matt Wieters but will say no for now. He hasn’t been Johnny Bench reincarnated as many had predicted, but he’s been decent his first two years in the league and should still develop into a solid player. He’s not a sure thing though, so I’d stick with Hughes. Would the Orioles trade Matusz for Hughes? No. Would they trade Wieters for Hughes? I don’t think so, they have some solid young pitchers and Wieters probably fills a bigger need.
Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester is a no brainer. I’d lean towards no on Clay Buchholz, but the argument certainly could be made. Dustin Pedroia would likely be a yes if the Yankees didn’t already have the best second baseman in the AL. You could also make an argument for Kevin Youkilis, but he’s on the wrong side of 30, isn’t very durable, and wouldn’t fit a need for the Yankees. Would the Sox trade Lester for Hughes? No.
Chicago White Sox
John Danks is just a year older than Hughes but has 3 seasons better than Hughes’ 2010. This is a close one, but since Danks is lefthanded, I would make the trade. It’s pretty close and I’d consider that the tiebreaker, especially in Yankee Stadium. Would the White Sox trade Danks for Hughes? Doubtful.
Shin-Soo Choo, like his Ohio counterpart Jay Bruce would be too good to pass up, despite a lack of glaring need. Since getting a chance in 2008, Choo has been a beast, putting up a 144 OPS+ with wOBA’s of .402, .389, and .388 the past three years. You could sway me on Carlos Santana, but coming off a pretty nasty leg injury and duplicating what Montero might bring (if you think he’s sticking at catcher), I don’t think I’d make this trade if I’m the Yankees. Would the Indians trade Choo for Hughes? I think they probably would as Choo will soon get expensive in arbitration.
Despite a lack of a need and a big contract, Miguel Cabrera would be a no-brainer. Justin Verlander would also be no-brainer. Would Detroit trade either of these two for Hughes? No.
Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke is a no brainer. I would not trade Hughes for Joakim Soria though. Some people would, I wouldn’t. As a starter expect Hughes to provide more value going forward for less money. Would the Royals trade Greinke for Hughes. No. Would they trade Soria for Hughes? They should if that offer came across their table, but being the Royals they likely wouldn’t.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I’m pretty torn on both Dan Haren and Jered Weaver (primary for financial reasons) but I think I’d pull the trigger on Weaver but not on Haren. Weaver is younger and cheaper than Haren and is coming off an outstanding 2010 season. Would the Angels trade Weaver for Hughes? No. Would they trade Haren for Hughes? Yes.
Joe Mauer and Francisco Liriano are easy ones. You could argue Justin Morneau but I think I’d keep Hughes. Would the Twins trade Mauer or Liriano for Hughes? No.
Brett Anderson? Yes. Trevor Cahill? No. Would the A’s trade Anderson for Hughes? No.
King Felix. Enough said. Would the Mariners do it? Of course not.
Tampa Bay Rays
David Price is easy as is Evan Longoria (would love to have that contract). That’s probably it from the Rays. The Rays would not trade either of them for Hughes.
If Cliff Lee had a contract I would trade Hughes for him. Since he’s a soon to be free agent I wouldn’t, and hypothetically if you could have gotten Lee for Hughes in July, I don’t make the trade. Josh Hamilton is a yes. You could argue Neftali Feliz if you thought you could put him back in the rotation and then be better than Hughes, but I’m not willing to go out on that limb. The Rangers wouldn’t trade Hamilton for Hughes.
Toronto Blue Jays
I’m not the biggest Ricky Romero fan but as a lefty I’d consider this trade but in the end I’d stick with Hughes. Brandon Morrow has (ridiculous) upside and came on strong last year but is still volatile. Hughes to me is more of a sure thing going forward, but Morrow could be better if everything goes well. I’d stick with Hughes.
With my 25 guys in the NL and 15 in the AL I have 40 players in the majors now I would trade Hughes for. How about you?