Yankees did not talk about a multi-year contract with Phil Hughes

Yankees scheduled for eight FOX broadcasts in 2013
Cervelli withdraws from World Baseball Classic

Via Andy McCullough & Bob Klapisch: The Yankees and Phil Hughes did not talk about a multi-year contract while negotiating their one-year agreement this offseason. “Coming up with this organization as a pitcher, you know you’re not going to be signed long-term (before free agency),” said the right-hander. “The Yankees are the ones who drafted me; they’re like a second family. For me to say I’d be neutral [about leaving New York] would be dishonest.”

Hughes, 26, will become a free agent next winter and will be, by far, the youngest starting pitcher on the open market. A strong walk year could have him looking at Anibal Sanchez money (five years, $80M) next winter. At the behest of pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Hughes underwent rounds of Active Release Technique physical therapy this winter, a regimen designed to improve flexibility. They’re working on several mechanical tweaks to smooth out his delivery and maximize his extension when he releases the ball. Whether it works remains to be seen, but either way this is an enormous season for Phil. He has quite a bit on the line.

Yankees scheduled for eight FOX broadcasts in 2013
Cervelli withdraws from World Baseball Classic
  • trr

    Without signing Hughes, we’re looking at more 1 year deals for older pitchers. It seems the team will take a wait and see attitude. If they didn’t extend Jeter + Cano before free agency, they’re certainly not gonna do it for Hughes

  • Monty

    Home run Hughes would be better off in a bigger NL park like San Diego.

    • ClusterDuck

      No. Hughes was 11 – 4 with an ERA of 3.74 at Yankee Statdium in 2012.

      • Havok9120

        Regardless of that, are you really going to argue that a flyball pitcher wouldn’t be much better off in a bigger park?

        • ClusterDuck

          Are you really going to disregard the on field results and argue that Hughes wasn’t significantly better at Yankee Stadium?

          • nyyankfan_7

            don’t you dare try and counter his argument with your fancy facts and statistics

            • jjyank

              Hah. If you plan on using that line, you should maybe make sure the “fancy facts and statistics” your supporting are actually the complete picture. Being snarky only works when you’re right.

              Phil at home in 2011: 7.83 ERA
              Phil on the road in 2011: 4.14 ERA

              Phil at home in 2010: 4.66 ERA
              Phil on the road in 2010: 3.47 ERA

              So was 2012 an outlier? If the results of his 2012 home numbers are sustainable, ClusterDuck has a point. But there’s very little evidence to argue that they are sustainable.

              All that said, I like Hughes and would like him to stay with the Yanks (for a reasonable contract, of course).

            • Havok9120

              Guy, go look at his home/road splits by year before you whip out that lovely bit of sarcasm. He’s had 2 seasons where he was better at home than he was away, and one of those he threw less than 80 total innings. In his career, he’s half a run and .80 points of SLG worse at home in well over 300 innings. He’s given up double (!) the number of HRs at home as he has away with less than 20 more innings of work at home. If I could find someone that would give me FIP splits for home and away, I’m reasonably certain they’d paint a similar picture.

              So. We done?

              • jjyank

                Since you asked:

                Hughes career FIP at home – 4.79
                Hughes career FIP away – 3.70

                I like Phil, but it’s a bit ridiculous to argue that he’d be better at home going forward.

                • Havok9120

                  Ooooh. Where’d you find that? Fangraphs and B-Ref didn’t seem to have it.

              • JobaWockeeZ

                I applaud you for constraining. I sure as shit wouldn’t in this case.

          • Havok9120

            He has been worse at Yankee Stadium in 2007, 2010, and 2011. He was appallingly bad there (and everywhere else) in 2008. You do not argue that he is not a flyball pitcher and home run prone. So why in God’s name would he logically be better at a Stadium which gives up homers at an above average rate? I’m not enough of a stat nut to try and tell you W/L record and ERA are useless, but what reason do you have to argue that that is NOT an outlier or that it makes logical sense that that trend will continue?

            • ClusterDuck

              Batters hit .238 against Hughes at the Stadium and .279 at home. Batters had a worse OBP, SLG and OPS at the Stadium than on the road.

              And chill out with the “Why in God’s Name” hyperbole.

              • Havok9120

                You’re still using the single year and no other without explaining why the others don’t matter or why we should expect 2012 to become a trend that will last. I’d be open to such arguments because I really do like Hughes, I just can’t think of any that hold water. Even the eye test doesn’t work.

                • Robinson Tilapia


                  Reading this is hilarious. You both are offering him about twice the amount of statistical evidence, yet the argument continues.


                  • ClusterDuck

                    Hughes has had two full healthy years as a starting pitcher. In 2010 he was worse at home. In 2012 he was much better at home.

                    It’s hilarious that when it comes to trying to predict what will happen in the future, that you ignore what has happened most recently.

                    (Watch the argument continue)

                    • Havok9120

                      I’m not ignoring it, but why does the evidence before last season no longer matter in your opinion? That’s all I’m asking, and not sarcastically or hostilely. What do you feel has changed that renders pre-2012 so much less important than 2012? And if it’s just a feeling, then that’s perfectly acceptable answer. We all do that.

                      I’m just wondering if you’ve seen something about him and his performance that I have not.

  • barry


  • vin

    The older I get the more I root for players to have big seasons and get massive contracts. Phil is no exception, even if that means he ends up elsewhere.

  • Travis L.

    If this new mechanical change shapes out, I’d like to see Hughes take a hometown discount, maybe at $8mil over 4 or 5 years, to stay with his “second family”. Maybe Joba will turn over a new leaf and become a knockout reliever, who can take over for Mo and he too take a hometown discount to stay with NY. Of course, if either of them stay the course they have been on, its “thanks for the memories”.

    • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

      you’re not serious are you? hometown discount?

      would you leave money on the table?

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Why would you assume everyone would?

        Would I leave money on the table to play for the team I wanted to play for? 100% yes. What the hell is the difference between 60 million and 80 million dollars?

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          20 million dollars?

          • Mike HC

            After taxes, probably more like 10? And then add in the additional benefits of playing for the New York Yankees, and it may end up being closer to 5. Not to mention the non monetary benefits of staying with his “second family.”

            I would definitely be more like Jared Weaver or LeBron James in working out a deal than a Prince Fielder. I would give up some money for a situation I prefer to be in.

            • jjyank

              Agreed. Not every player will take less money to stay with a team or city he likes, but plenty do. It’s not a black and white situation.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Sure. What’s 20 more when you’re already pocketing 60? That’s just me, and I’m only speaking for myself here.

      • OldYanksFan

        Yes…. but not a massive amount.
        Plenty of people choose a job or a place to live and sacrifice some money. And Phil will be a multi-multi millionaire in any case.

        He has 6.2 career bWAR over 6 years.
        His BEST year was 2.5 bWAR.
        I don’t know how this warrents 5/$80m.
        That would mean 3+ WAR every year.
        And the guy has had some injuries.
        But of course, almost all prime FAs get overpaid.

        I would like to keep him.
        He’s probably worth $10m/yr, so I might offer 4/$48m.

        But 5 years @ $16m?
        I’d let him walk if he comes close to that.

        • dalelama

          With his dinosaur arms throwing motion Phil is never going to be that great.

      • Havok9120

        He’d hardly be the first guy to do it, even in the first round of FA.

  • G-Money

    ART is some very interesting stuff from what I’ve read. Maybe I’m dreaming too much but imagine if he can get close to the 2007 Phil pre-hamstring injury…

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      I’ve done a bunch of it and know one of the best guys in the world for it (he’s on the sidelines for NY Giants games). It’s really amazing. Sort of like you can’t believe it amazing. Really short sessions (like well under 15 minutes) and incredible results if you do it regularly.

      No clue obviously how it may have impacted Phil.

  • jjyank

    I don’t think I would be comfortable giving Hughes the Sanchez contract. Here’s to hoping that he would be willing to stay in New York for slightly less.

    • Countryclub

      That’s why they should have offered him 3/30 this past off season. They’re paying him 8 mil this yr anyway. So it’s not like the avg annual salary would have been much bigger. Considering his injury history he might have jumped at the security that 30 mil brought him.

      • jjyank

        Maybe in hindsight. I don’t think the Yankees would have thrown $30 mil at a guy coming off a 5.79 ERA in 2011 though. That would have been quite the risk. Also, Hughes may have wanted to negotiate an extension after a better season. His value wasn’t exactly at its highest last offseason.

        • CountryClub

          No I meant this past winter. Still a gamble, but one worth taking IMO.

          • jjyank

            Oh my bad. My brain still hasn’t really registered that the offseason is over.

            Yeah, I think that’s a gamble I would take right now. I understand the hesitancy though, given Hughes’ roller coaster career.

          • hogsmog

            I agree. They’re going to have to plug this hole somehow, and more than just that unless the stars align and Nova, Phelps, and Pineda all become reliable starters by next year.

            I guess maybe the argument is that they value a 200 inning lock over upside in 2014, if the philosophy is that its a lost year and they just want to make it through without having to rush prospects? But it’s not like that’s going to be all that cheap, either…

      • Steve (different one)

        But if Hughes is potentially in line for an Anibal Sanchez deal (I am skeptical he will get this much) with a good year, why would he take $30M/3?

        Contracts go both ways. He takes a risk by playing it out, but the reward is dramatically higher. If you were his agent would you advise him to take that offer?

        • CountryClub

          I hear.. But at least the yanks would have tried. It would have been a risk on oth sides.

      • Steve

        I don’t think there’s anyway Hughes would’ve taken a deal like that this past offseason. Players usually sign deals that are much closer to market value when they’re so close to free agency. 10m/yr on a 3 yr deal is a pipe dream. If he’s taking such a low AAV, then the Yankees would have to add more years. Just look at Edwin Jackson, 13m/yr for 4 yrs and he’s 3 years older than Phil. I’m thinking any team signing a 26 yr old starter who’s had success in the majors is going to have to go at least 5 yrs. I’m thinking 5yrs/60m is more realistic on an extension. Something like the Sanchez deal is more realistic on the open market.

  • Blake

    Mistake to not at least have the discussion I think ….the Yankees have to move past this outdated mindset on extensions if they are going to be on a budget

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewallbreakers Scully

      I agree with this.

    • Manny’s Banwagon

      Yep. If you wanna let these guys reach free agency, that’s fine but if he has a good season, they’re gonna have to pay him top dollar or let him walk creating yet another hole to fill.

    • Steve (different one)

      They are talking to Cano now. I think there is a very valid argument for waiting on Hughes, he simply hasn’t been consistent enough. It’s like someone said above, could you really have argued to extend him last winter?

      I’d like to think he is blossoming, but there are still enough flags to plant that seed of doubt.

      • will the carny

        Thats why i would have offered him one his offseason. He is in his peak years and working hard to improve. I believe this year will be his best yet.

  • Dicka24

    I mentioned last year that it might have been a good time to offer Hughes a low term extension. Risky because of the off year and inconsistency he’d had, but maybe worth buying a couple extra years of time for a talented young arm. I understand why they, or even Hughes, wouldn’t want to do that. This is a huge year for Hughes. Worst case for the Yankees, is he has a very good year, the Yanks offer him the qualifier, he signs elsewhere, and the Yankees get a draft pick. Or, he accepts the qualifier and u get a 27 year old who need to have a good year, for $13 million for 1 year. It’s not the worst situation to be in for either side. The key is, lets hope Hughes has a good year.

    • will the carny

      by next year it will be closer to 15 mil a year or over

  • Mike HC

    I definitely agree that not extending Hughes this past off season was the way to go. But if he does have another strong season, I would like the see the Yanks pay the man and keep him. Same with Joba. I’m big fans of both and it would be a major bummer if they both have good years and then the Yanks let them walk because they can’t “afford” them.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Hughes is a huge quandary for this team. It’s very hard to feel sure as to who he is, which makes the prospect of giving an extension out too early a tough one. If anyone has the biggest potential of breaking your heart post-2013, either way, for this team, it’s him.

    Would I extend him? Yes, at about average second or third starter money. Someone has to pitch those innings for this team in 2014. Should he accept that now, knowing that the potential is there to get more? I don’t know. Should the team do it, knowing the potential is equally there for him not to live up to being that guy? I don’t know either.

  • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

    I’d rather pay him more a year from now after a good (or better) season in 2013 than pay him less now UNLESS the less now was obviously a huge discount.

    • Mike HC

      100% agreed here.

    • Havok9120

      Yeah, I’m agreed with that. But for us to get our way they would have had to discuss a contract to figure out what kind of discount they’d be looking at if they signed an extension now. According to this news blurb, they did not do even that.

  • Brass City Mauler

    I think the Yanks need evaluate Hughes this spring training and then offer a contract extention to 4 years $36m with a 5th year team option. I like what I saw from Phil in the second half of last year and seems to have committed himself this off season. Yanks know what they have with Hughes. A homegrown, great character, competitive quality MLB pitcher. Yanks need to reap Hughes’s upcoming prime years.

    • dalelama

      Obviously you are dwelling in a fantasy land. The guy is totally unreliable.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Sweet baby Jesus. I can’t believe I’m actually clamoring for the “Hughes sucks” crowd to show up and offer a counterpoint here.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      I don’t think he sucks but all you have to do is link to his high FIP/xFIP numbers to show that a 4 /40 deal that people want is way too much.